All the Members of Parliament will take a 30 per cent cut in their constituency and stationary allowances, cumulatively amounting to over Rs 25 crore for a period of one year, after a similar reduction in their salaries to help fund the COVID-19 fight, as per the government orders.
An ordinance to amend a law to reduce the salaries of MPs by 30 per cent for one year "to meet the exigencies arising out of COVID-19 pandemic" was promulgated.
Later, parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi tweeted the notification issued by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretaries regarding 30 per cent reduction in constituency and stationary allowances for MPs is a "good beginning for augmenting resources for fighting COVID-19".
In addition to the 30 per cent salary cut, MPs will now have to forfeit a total of Rs 27,000 per month from their constituency and office allowances, according to the notification issued by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariat.
For a one year period, this will amount to nearly Rs 25 crore for all 788 MPs together.
This cut in allowances is in addition to the 30 per cent reduction in the monthly salary of MPs, who draw salary of Rs one lakh per month and a constituency allowance of Rs 70,000 per month among other allowances.
The Union Cabinet had on Monday approved the reduction in the salaries for a one year period, while it also decided to suspend the local area development funds given to the MPs for a period of two years.
Together, these measures are estimated to free a nearly Rs 8,000 crore, which the government wants to use for COVID-19 fight.
The decision to cut MPs allowances was taken by the Joint Committee of Parliament in consultation with the government.
"Notwithstanding anything contained in the rule 2, a member shall be entitled to receive the constituency allowance under section 8 of the salary. Allowances and pension of members of Parliament Act, 1954 (30 of 1954), at the rate of Rs 49,000 per month for the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021," the government said in a notification.
Out of Rs 60,000 of Office Allowance per month, each MP will now get Rs 14,000 towards stationery as against Rs 20,000 per month earlier.
There has been no cut in the amount of Rs 40,000 per month meant for engaging personal assistants by MPs.
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla accepted the recommendations of the Joint Committee and the cut has become effective from April 1, the official order said.
The rules, as per the notification, under which the deductions have come are called the Members of Parliament (Constituency Allowance) Amendment Rules, 2020.