West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has urged chief minister Mamata Banerjee, her council of ministers and the members of legislative assembly (MLAs) to take a pay cut for a year to help the Central government’s bid to tackle the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
“APPEAL MLAs and Ministers in WEST BENGAL @MamataOfficial to take 30% pay cut for a year to boost govt’s Covid-19 efforts,” Dhankhar tweeted early in the morning on Tuesday.
He also highlighted the fact that President Ram Nath Kovind, governors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his council of ministers have already taken a pay cut. “PM, MPs, Union Ministers @narendramodi take 30% pay cut for a year to Covid-19 efforts. President, VP, and Governors also take 30% pay cut for a year,” he tweeted.
On March 31, Banerjee had, however, tweeted that she doesn’t take any salary as the Bengal CM or as a lawmaker.
“I do not take any salary as an MLA or a Chief Minister and I have also foregone my MP Pension despite being a seven-time Member of Parliament. I come from limited means. My primary source of income is from my creative pursuits, the royalties I generate from my music and books,” Banerjee tweeted last week.
On April 2, the Bengal government had announced austerity measures under which no new scheme will be taken up and all construction works will stop except urgent repairs and maintenance for which approval has to be taken from the finance department. The drive has been initiated because of the massive unexpected expenditure to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak across the cash-strapped state.
Dhankhar, whose acrimonious relation with the state government has been in news for months, had earlier contributed Rs 10 lakh to the chief minister’s emergency relief fund and Rs 5 lakh to the Prime Minister’s relief fund.
Banerjee has also donated Rs 5 lakh each to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and the state Emergency Relief Fund to help combat the spread of Covid-19.