NEW DELHI: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting several austerity measures such as suspending the central vista project, cancelling foreign travels, stopping government ads in media and transferring money in the PM Cares Fund to the PM Relief Fund to fight the COVID-19.
The letter comes days after the PM spoke to her and other political leaders, seeking suggestions on the pandemic. In reply, Gandhi suggested the five measures that can provide funds for COVID-19 fight.
“I am writing to convey our support for the decision taken by the Union Cabinet to reduce salaries for MPs by 30 per cent. Austerity measures which can be used to divert much-needed funds to the fight against COVID-19 are the need of the hour,” she said.
Calling for suspending the Rs 20,000 crore ‘Central Vista’ project, Gandhi wrote: “At a time like this, such an outlay seems self-indulgent to say the least. I am certain that Parliament can function comfortably within the existing historical buildings. There is no urgent or pressing requirement that cannot be postponed until this crisis is contained. This sum could instead be allocated towards constructing new hospital infrastructure and diagnostics along with equipping our frontline workers with PPEs and beter facilities.”
The other measure the Congress president suggested include a proportionate reduction of 30 per cent in the expenditure budget for the government.