The Lok Sabha on Sunday passed the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020, by voice vote.
The same was passed by the Rajya Sabha on September 18, 2020.
The Bill, moved by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, seeks to amend the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers Act, 1952 and reduce the salaries and sumptuary allowances of Ministers by 30% for a period of one year (starting from April 1, 2020), to supplement the financial resources of the centre to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
An Ordinance to this effect was promulgated in April this year and the Bills seeks to replace the same.
The Bill was largely supported by all Members. However, Congress MP Adhir Rajan Chaowdhury highlighted that that the cost spent in passing these Bills to reduce the salaries and allowances was more than the funds that will be saved by the Government in actually cutting MPs salaries and allowances.
A similar point was also made by DMK MP Advocate P. Wilson, when the Bill was being discussed by the Rajya Sabha.
The proposed reduction will save approximately Rs. 54 crores, which less than 0.001% of the special economic package announced by the Central Government, in view of the pandemic.
Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai however stated that the idea was more to do with contributing to a cause and assured that approximately Rs. 4 crore will be saved in the process.
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