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New Delhi, April 6, 2020
The Union Cabinet today approved an ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 to reduce the salaries of MPs by 30 per cent for the financial year 2020-21, which has begun on April 1 against the background of the coronaviris (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.
Briefing newspersons on the Cabinet decisions, Information & Broadcastin Minister Prakash Javadekar said the decision would also cover the Prime Minister and all members of the Union Council of Ministers.
He said the President, the Vice-President and the Governors of all States had also voluntarily decided to take a 30% pay cut as a social responsibility.
The decision covers only the salaries of MPs and does not include their pensions and allowances.
Javadekar said the Cabinet had also approved a proposal for non-operation of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years, 2020-21 and 2021-22.
He said the amounts saved from the two decisions would go into the Consolidated Fund of India.
The decisions have come at a time when India, all other countries of the world, is battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has, among other things, inflicted a heavy cost on the country's economy.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel welcomed the Cabinet decision on MPs' salaries.
"As a Member of Parliament , I welcome the government’s decision to cut salaries of MP’s. In this difficult time , this is the least we can do to help fellow citizens," he said on Twitter.
"Apart from cutting salaries of MPs and Ministers, the Central Government can save more than Rs 20,000 cr by scrapping the Central Vista redevelopment project & cutting down on non-Covid19 publicity expenses," he said.
But the Congress party expressed reservations about the decision to suspend the MPLADS.
"Dear PM, INC supports the salary cut for MPs!
"Please note that MPLAD is meant to execute developmental works in the constituency. Suspending it is a huge disservice to the constituents & will undermine the role & functions of MP," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Twitter.