Thiruvananthapuram: Lok Sabha members from Kerala had mixed reactions to the Union Cabinet''s decision to reduce the salaries, allowances and pensions of law-makers by 30 per cent for an year in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and to suspend the MPLADS for the next two years.
Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha members and the lone member from the ruling CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front, A.M. Ariff, who represents the Alappuzha constituency, said cutting out the MPLAD scheme for two years is bit tough.
"We were given a circular recently that we could divert our funds for Covid-19 activities and that has been done... now this has come, we do not know how things will pan out. Cutting allowances as high as 30 per cent, will seriously affect our daily work as a lawmaker , as we are always on the move. The government while doing this should seriously think of recovering crores of outstanding from corporates and others," said Ariff.
Kodikunnil Suresh, a former Union Minister and senior Congress law maker, welcomed the move and pointed out that it''s their responsibility also and hence welcomes it.
But first-time young Congress MP from Idukki, Dean Kuriakose said more clarity is required on this and if there is no other way, then they will accept.
"Perhaps our views could have been sought," said Kuriakose.
A.K. Antony, a member of the Upper House, said that he welcomes it.
"The country is facing tough times and it''s not an issue to tighten one''s belts too," said Antony.
"But cutting out MP''s fund for two years will affect Covid 19 activities. I called the Alappuzha District collector and said they can demand any amount for it. Next day I was informed they require Rs 2.18 crore and it was instantly cleared by me. And now if it''s going to be stopped, then all activities related to Covid relif will come to a stop. This is not a right decision. It should have been directed that in the next two years it should be allowed only for Covid activities," he said.
Kollam MP N.K. Premachandran said cutting salaries by 30 per cent will affect people like him, who have no other sources of income, but theywill accept it without any issues, as it is for the country.
"But cutting out the MP funds is an autocratic decision and it clearly spells out the real financial mess our country is in now.... this is being pushed under the Covid times and this is ploy by the Centre. This should not have happened," he said.