Following the Centre's footsteps, Assam government on Tuesday announced a 30 per cent cut in salaries of the Chief Minister, ministers and MLAs for a year to combat the Coronavirus crisis. Earlier, the Central government decided to slash salaries of Members of Parliament and Union Cabinet Ministers by 30% for one year amid the COVID-19 pandemic in India. At present, there are 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Assam, while no deaths have been reported.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar informed that the Union Cabinet has approved an Ordinance amending the salary, allowances and pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 reducing allowances and pension by 30% w.e.f. April 1 for a year. Javadekar said that an amendment in this regard will be tabled in Parliament once the House is back in session, but the Ordinance, which temporarily allows the law to take effect for six months, kicks into effect the change.
Moreover, the Modi Cabinet approved temporary suspension of MPLAD Fund of MPs during 2020-21 and 2021-22 for managing health and the adverse impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 in India. The consolidated amount of MPLAD Funds for two years — Rs 7900 crores — will go to the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI). The CFI is the account of the revenue the Government of India receives — via income tax, Customs, central excise and the non-tax revenue — and the expenses it makes, excluding exceptional items. Essentially, a sum of Rs 500 crore from the Consolidated Fund of India is transferred to the Contingency Fund of India for dealing with any emergency situation.
As of date, 4,421 positive cases have been reported of the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 326 have been discharged and Maharashtra reported the highest at 748 cases. 114 deaths have been reported till date. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries. The Prime Minister has issued a 21-day countrywide lockdown starting from 23 March to April 15 and the Finance Minister has announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package under the 'PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme'.