Somnath, Sangma for treatment at par with prez, VP
New Delhi: Two former speakers have reportedly sought treatment on par with former presidents and vice-presidents but the government is disinclined to do so although it is not averse to extend some extra facilities to them.
PA Sangma and Somnath Chatterjee had recently written to Speaker Meira Kumar seeking certain facilities like free accomodation in Delhi, transportation and secretarial facilities on the lines of those extended to former presidents and vice-presidents.
The proposal was forwarded to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry as an amendment to the Salaries and Allowances of Officers of Parliament Act, 1953, which is necessary to extend the facilities.
"Yes, I am thinking on this," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said here refusing to elaborate on the amendments or the facilities to be extended.
At the same time, he said "former speakers cannot be at par with former presidents and vice-presidents."
Sources in the government said the government is not averse to extending facilities such as secretarial assistance to former Speakers. But at the same time, they said facilities should be extended to Speakers who complete their full term and do not step down in between.
They said speakers, who go on to take other official assignments after their term ends, should not get the proposed facilities.
Officials of the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry are working on the "short amendment" but no draft cabinet note has been prepared so far as consultations have to be held with other ministries like Finance on the matter, the sources said.
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