Cong welcomes cut in MPs’ grants, flays MPLAD’s suspension

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New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) The Congress has supported the reduction in allowances of members of Parliament and pensions of ex-MPs for one year by the government to augment funds for the battle against coronavirus, but criticised suspension of MPLAD (local area development) funds as “a huge disservice to the constituents”.

It would undermine the role and functions of MPs, said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, here on Monday.
Stating that the MPLAD funds are meant to execute developmental works in the constituencies, Surjewala said, “It’s suspension was a huge dis-service to the constituents and will undermine the role and functions of MPs.”
The Union cabinet approved the ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, reducing allowances and pension by 30 per cent from April 1 for a year.
It also approved temporary suspension of MPLAD funds for 2020-21 and 2021-22 for managing the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. The President, the Vice-President and the Governors have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut.
Earlier welcoming the move, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the government should also save money by scrapping the the central vista project in the national capital.
“Apart from cutting salaries of MPs and Ministers, the central government can save more than Rs 20,000 crore by scrapping the Central Vista redevelopment project & cutting down on non-Covid-19 publicity expenses,” Patel tweeted.