New Delhi, April 7: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday extended support to the Narendra Modi government for taking the decision to reduce salaries for MPs by 30 percent to combat coronavirus outbreak. In a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi suggested five ways to fight COVID-19. She said austerity measures which can be used to divert much needed funds to the fight against COVID-19 are the need of the hour. Salaries of MPs Cut by 30% For A Year From April 1, 2020; President, VP, Governors Take Voluntary Pay Cut of 30%.
The Congress President also demanded a complete ban on media advertisements by the government and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) for two years. Gandhi said that only government advisories on COVID-19 and advertisements related to health issues should be allowed. Coronavirus Cases in India Rise to 4,421 With 354 New Patients in Past 24 Hours, Death Toll 114.
Sonia Gandhi's Letter:
Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi writes to PM Modi conveying support for Union Cabinet decision to reduce salaries for MPs by 30%. Letter states, "Austerity measures which can be used to divert much needed funds to the fight against Covid-19 are the need of the hour". pic.twitter.com/6yyBbPdtfG
— ANI (@ANI) April 7, 2020
The Congress president wrote, “Given that the Central government currently spends an average of Rs 1,250 crores per year on advertisements (not including an equal and greater amount by PSUs and government companies) this will free up a substantial amount to alleviate the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.” Gandhi also demanded the suspension of Rs 20,000 crore “Central Vista” beautification and construction project. She said that Parliament could function comfortably within the existing historical buildings.
Gandhi stated that all the money collected in PM-CARES should be transferred to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. She asked to put on hold all foreign visits of the Prime Minister, Union Ministers, state chief ministers and bureaucrats. The Congress president said that the government should also reduce expenditure budget by 30 percent. Arvind Kejriwal Announces 5T Plan Including Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Teamwork And Tracking for Fighting Coronavirus in Delhi.
On Monday, the central government announced to slash salaries, allowances and pension of incumbent and former lawmakers, including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Union Cabinet approved an ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, reducing allowances and pension of lawmakers by 30 percent with effect from April 1, 2020, for a year.