Saturday, October 17, 2020

Dashain allowance for House members draws flak

 The decision to dole out festive allowance to the lawmakers have drawn flak as it is unconstitutional. Federal lawmakers received Dashain allowance equal to one month’s salary, on the basis of the cabinet meeting – on September 17 – that decided to give festival allowance to the lawmakers, confirmed spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Rojnath Pandey.

However, the public blamed the lawmakers for being money-minded not only because it is unconstitutional but also at a time when the country’s economy is facing the devastating impact of Covid-19.

“A federal lawmaker draws a monthly salary of Rs 64,070,” according to the Parliament Secretariat. “The cabinet has also decided to provide festival allowance to members of office bearers’ private secretariat and also lawmakers’ private aides, who have served for six months.”

The public opposition has made the lawmakers back foot and they have been claiming that they came to know about the allowance after, the amount was deposited in their bank account. Some of the lawmakers – trying to be populist – even claimed that it was improper of lawmakers to accept Dashain allowance when people were dying of hunger and a large number of work force had lost jobs and businesses had closed in the face of the pandemic.

Couple of them – including Nepal Communist Party (NCP) spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha –announced to give up their pay and perks for one year, keeping in mind the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

The government has even barred government employees from taking allowance in the face of the pandemic but the government – through the cabinet decision – has allowed the lawmakers to get festival allowance.

No comments: