Parliamentarians cutting across party-lines including even from self-acclaimed pro-poor parties like CPI(M) and TMC have been exposed to avail huge travel-allowances to travel by air. Heavy annual travel-allowance of about Rs 96 crores for Lok Sabha members and about Rs 36 crores for Rajya Sabha members are because Parliamentarians rather than booking air-tickets well in advance at very low costs for pre-scheduled Parliament-sessions and committee-meetings, deliberately book at the last moment at surge-prices like about Rs 99000 for Mumbai-Kolkata flight only because they get 25-percent allowance on ticket-cost fixed in era when steamers were also a mode for travel. It is beyond understanding why at all travel-allowance is continuing when they travel in business-line with food-facility apart from using VVIP lounges at airports with all types of refreshments.
Such already paid travel-allowance to present Parliamentarians should be taken back apart from immediate abolishing it for future travels. All types of allowances, salaries and pensions of Parliamentarians should be reviewed for minimising number of allowances. All such monetary benefits for Parliamentarians should be fixed by Pay Commissions rather than Parliament itself. All details of allowances, salaries, pensions, free facilities availed by Parliamentarians should be put on website updated quarterly for a self-imposed check. With pension-system for government-employees abolished, it is ridiculous to continue it for Parliamentarians.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)