Former lawmakers billed as VIPs without pay, perks

Kathmandu, September 17

A  sub-committee of the State Affairs Committee of the Parliament has finalised the bill relating to pay and perks of former VIPs without any pension provision for former members of the Parliament.

The sub-panel, however, proposed free treatment for all former MPs in government hospitals.

Some lawmakers had moved proposals to amend the bill demanding pay and perks for former MPs as well. The sub-panel, however, rejected their proposal.  In most cases sub-committees’ reports are okayed by the parliamentary panels.

The sub-committee meeting held today at the Parliament Secretariat sent the report to the SAC, clearly mentioning that former MPs will be treated as per the  VIP protocol but they will not get any  financial benefits from the state.

SAC Sub-committee Coordinator Jivan Bahadur Shahi told mediapersons that former Constituent Assembly members would, however, get a special logo and their ranking in the protocol would be on a par with the incumbent members of the Parliament. “Considering international practice, the CA members will not be termed former,” Shahi added.

The sub-panel amended the bill’s contents, stating that the government should provide residences to former presidents and vice-presidents and the government should provide them with house rent allowance only till the government builds residences for them.

The sub-panel has suggested that  former presidents who don’t have their own houses in Kathmandu Valley,  be provided a monthly house rent allowance of Rs 200,000 till the government provides them residences. Likewise, former vice-presidents and other VIPs will get 75,000 per month as house rent allowance. Former presidents, who have their houses in the valley will get a lump sum of Rs 1,000,000 annually for house maintenance and former veeps and other former VIPs   will get Rs 300,000 annually for the same purpose.

The bill defines  former presidents, vice presidents and prime ministers/chairs of council of ministers, chief justices, speakers and chairs of the upper house as former VIPs.

The bill proposes monthly allowance of Rs 50,000 for former presidents and Rs 40,000 for former vice-presidents. The sub-committee also proposed to add a staffer equivalent to non-gazetted clerk for former president.

The bill also provisioned that former VIPs should get one vehicle from the government and Rs 25,000 per month as repair expenses; former presidents should be entitled to fuel expenses on a par with facilities provided to government ministers; and other VIPs should be entitled to fuel expenses on a par with facilities provided to state ministers.

If the bill is passed, ex-presidents will get four staffers - one under secretary, one junior clerk, one  driver and one office assistant. Other former VIPs will get one section officer and one driver.