CHANDIGARH: Six members of Parliament from Punjab who are former MLAs, may soon be eligible to draw a pension from the Vidhan Sabha, in addition to the salary and perks they currently receive from Parliament.
According to rules of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, an MLA who becomes an MP of either House is eligible to receive the difference between his/her MP’s salary and the pension they qualify for from the state government. If their salary is higher than the pension, then they will not be eligible. According to sources in the Vidhan Sabha who are familiar with the development, the state Assembly has written to both houses for details of the salaries of these MPs.
These parliamentarians include Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar, who also confirmed that the Assembly had contacted him regarding the matter. “The Vidhan Sabha contacted me to ask how much salary I withdraw as an MP so my office gave them the details,” said Jakhar. The other Lok Sabha MPs include Santokh Chaudahry, also of the Congress, and Prem Singh Chandumajra of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) who is an MP from Anandpur Sahib.
The three Rajya Sabha MPs are former PPCC President Partap Singh Bajwa, another former PPCC President Shamsher Singh Dullo and SAD veteran Sukhdev Singh Dhinsa.
Sources pointed out that as per rules of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, a sitting MLA is not given pension as he had earlier remained as MLA and now has again won and come back in the Assembly. But if that former MLA becomes an MP of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha then he or she is entitled to a pension but minus the salary which one draws from any of these houses of parliament, thus the remaining amount can be given to him or her. If their salary is more than the pension then they will not be entitled to the pension. Only if their pension is more than the salary then only they will get the reaming amount.
In addition, two former MLAs, former deputy chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and former cabinet minister Lal Singh have also refused to withdraw their monthly salary and demanded they should be given pension by as it amounts to more than their salary. Lal Singh is the Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board and Bhattal is Vice Chairman of the Punjab State Planning Commission. Both of them are five-time MLAs.