Washington: At a time when US is facing economic strain and automatic budgetary cuts is in place, President Barack Obama will return five per cent of his salary amounting to USD 20,000 to the Department of Treasury.
The salary of the US President is USD 400,000 per annum (over Rs 2 crore) and in a show of solidarity he will return USD 20,000 (over Rs 10 lakh).
"Obama instructed his staff he wanted to do this when the sequester took effect," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said yesterday.
"The salary for the President, as with Members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed. However, the President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury," Carney said.
Obama plans to write checks to Treasury on a monthly basis, effective March 1, but will cut the first check in April.
A day earlier, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had announced a similar move.
Senator Mark Begich also announced that he would voluntarily give back part of his salary and that more than half of his staff members would have their pay cut this year.