Parliament will decide perks for MPs: Jaitley

Parliament will decide perks for MPs: Jaitley

With the Rajya Sabha members taking exception to the Supreme Court's reported comment that ex-MPs are crorepatis, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said Parliament alone has the authority to approve how public money is spent and it alone can legislate on MPs’ pension.

"It is an unquestionably clear constitutional position that public money can be spent only after authorisation of Parliament. Therefore, only Parliament can authorise how public money can be spent. No other institution can exercise that power," he said in Rajya Sabha. The finance minister's comment in the Upper House came after opposition MPs raised objections to the Supreme Court’s reported comment that 80% of former lawmakers are 'crorepatis'. The Supreme Court had on Tuesday said the pension and perks given to MPs prima facie seemed unreasonable and sought responses from the Centre and the Election Commission on a plea seeking to scrap them.

Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal, through a point of order, raised the issue in the House. He said the image of the MPs was being sullied as if they were appropriating huge amount of public money as salary and pension without working. He said some former MPs are living a pauper's life with the children of a former lawmaker in Uttar Pradesh working as labourers and artisans.

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