Thursday, August 13, 2015

Your tax rupees going to this?!

27 parliamentarians together racked up a bill of 5.6 crore rupees, overstaying in a luxury hotel without approval. Now they expect India's taxpayer to foot the bill. But if we jump in now before the Lok Sabha Secretariat approve their expenses we can tell them: you stay, you pay! 


Dear friends,

27 parliamentarians racked up hotelbills of 5.6 crore rupees by overstaying in Delhi's luxurious Ashok hotel without approval. Now they expect the taxpayer to foot the bill! Let'sunite to say: Not from our pockets!

These MPs finally vacated only after two warning letters from the Housing Committee. Many even had homes in Delhi! News reports say the Lok Sabha secretariat has not yet approved their expenses -- if we raise a massive outcry right now, we can put them all on notice, telling them if they stay, they pay!

Each one of our signatures will make the approval of these bills harder for the secretariat. So sign now then share everywhere -- when we get to 30,000 signers, we'll deliver a bill to each MP for the amount they've spent, with all our signatures on it!

Official residences were made available to these MPs but they chose to go live in a hotel instead without getting their expenses approved beforehand. The Lok Sabha secretariat that is responsible for arranging the accommodation of MPs has therefore now stalled the payment. These Parliamentarians had their cake and ate it too -- taking possession of their new houses while refusing to check out from the luxury hotel!

While many MPs get to live in sprawling bungalows, others have to settle for flats -- many of which were built back in 1952 and are in need of proper maintenance. Many MPs also complain that the previous occupier leaves behind a huge mess. But instead of raising their concerns these MPs extended their 5-star stay without getting the additional expenses approved first. In most jobs, if you decide to spend a few more days at a fancy hotel you would be made answerable straight away!

It's a story that repeats itself often until an RTI query blows the lid and temporarily embarrasses our netas. But after the attention passes, the secretariat is forced to pay out with the public's cash. Not this time.

Let's teach our MPs that just like other professionals, they need to pick up the tab for things they are not entitled to. We've tried reaching out to the Secretariat for a response but haven't received a reply. If thousands of us join in they'll be forced to listen. Sign and share this petition:

The Avaaz community has always stood up against the VIP culture and the high handedness of our politicians -- regardless of which political party they belong to. Let's do it again to show them that they must be accountable to the people!

With hope and determination,

Risalat, Alex, Sobaika, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team 

More Information:

27 MPs overstayed at the Ashok, bills not cleared by LS Secretariat (Indian Express)

Happens each time: Report from 2010 (India Today)

47 Lok Sabha MPs overstaying at Government Guest Houses (New Indian Express)

Role of the Speaker (Lok Sabha website)

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