MPs lobby for VVIP perks after retirement

Published On: March 18, 2017 08:19 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Mar 18: Despite frequent criticism for seeking ‘unnecessary’ facilities from the state, lawmakers seeking various facilities for themselves after retirement have registered an amendment to that effect to a bill now in  parliament .

Registering the amendment proposal to the Bill on Provision of Facilities for Former Office Bearers, which was registered in  parliament last week, the MPs have demanded medical, travel and other facilities from the state even after their office terms expire. 

Last November, the lawmakers had to face huge criticism from the public after demanding pensions, Dashain allowances and tax waiver for the purchase of  personal vehicles, among other things and registering an amendment  bill to that end . 

“Medical, travel and other facilities should be given to former members of parliament, Constituent Assembly members, members of the House of Representatives and National Assembly or members of the Federal Parliament,” reads the amendment proposal registered by half a dozen lawmakers mainly from the ruling Nepali Congress (NC). 

NC lawmakers Tapta Bahadur Bista, Sanjay Gautam, Rajeeb Bikram Shah, Narbahadur Chand and Kalpana Chaudhary of Madhesi People’s Rights Forum Democratic have registered the amendment to the bill which is still under discussion. 

However, some lawmakers have registered an amendment proposal demanding  a reduction in the proposed facilities for the former office bearers. Taranidutta Chataut of NC, Agni Kharel of CPN-UML and Ram Narayan Bidari of CPN (Maoist Center) in a joint amendment proposal demanded the barring of former office bearers from availing themselves of dual state facilities. 

Likewise, Janak Raj Joshi of Maoist Center has demanded an end to the monthly allowances for former presidents and vice presidents. He has also demanded a cut in the house maintenance allowances for former presidents and vice presidents. 

Meena Pun of Rastriya Janamorcha demanded that the monthly house rent allowance be reduced to Rs 50 thousand  instead of the  Rs 200,000 proposed in the bill. Nepal Workers Peasants Party lawmakers have also suggested providing less than Rs 50 thousand as house rent for the former office bearers and even that  only if they don’t have their own houses. 

The bill proposes monthly allowances of Rs 50,000 and 40,000 for former presidents and vice-presidents respectively. Likewise Rs 200,000 is proposed for former presidents and Rs 75,000 for various other former top officials as monthly rent allowance. Former officials with their own homes in the capital will get half the amount.

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