November 18, 2016 12:40 AM NPT
By: Ashok Dahal
KATHMANDU, Nov 18: Reminding the infamous 'Pajero Scandal' of 1994, a member of parliament has demanded customs duty relaxation for the lawmakers to buy personal vehicles.
Amid public criticism over the bill to amend perks and facilities to the office bearers and members of federal parliament, which is under discussion in the parliament, lawmakers have sought more facilities for them.
Registering amendment on the bill, Samajbadi Janata Party lawmaker Prem Bahadur Singh has demanded tax waiver for the lawmakers to buy personal vehicle during their tenure. “Any lawmakers, who are not provided vehicle facilities by the government, can buy a vehicle on tax relaxation. Such vehicles cannot be sold for at least 10 years even in case of demise of the lawmaker,” reads the amendment proposal registered by Singh.
After the then Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government decided to waive 95 percent tax for MPs in 1994, most of the lawmakers had misused the facility to buy luxurious Pajero jeeps for businessmen. They were found to be providing the jeep to businessmen in return for money.
Similarly, lawmakers from the same party have demanded increment on meeting allowance to Rs 1,000 from proposed 500. Meanwhile, lawmakers Ram Ayodhya Yadav, Prem Kishor Sah Teli, Juth Bahadur Tuhure Khadgi and Tara Devi Rai have demanded a hike in furnishing expenses to Rs 50,000 from the proposed Rs 15,000.
Some lawmakers including Pemba Lama have withdrawn their amendment proposal on Thursday. Lama among other lawmakers had demanded reducing furnishing allowances for the lawmakers.
Some lawmakers have demanded health insurance for all MPs up to Rs 1.5 million.
Meena Pun of Rastriya Janamorcha has demanded community quarters for lawmakers.