In a move that could mean weaning away the benefits and allowances such as office car and residential accommodation provided to members of the New Delhi Municipal Council, the civic body would be tabling a proposal to amend the NDMC Act, 1994, at its next Council meeting scheduled for this Friday.
The amendment comes in the wake of the Union Home Ministry and the Law and Justice Ministry examining a proposal to grant voting right and Council member status to the MP whose constituency wholly or partly comprises the New Delhi area and who presently only enjoys the status of a “special invitee” in the Council as opposed to the Council members who enjoy voting rights.
However, the Union Home Ministry has been advised by the Law Ministry that the inclusion of the MP as a Council member may have an impact on the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, due to which an amendment has been recommended by it in the NDMC Act, 1994.
This amendment proposed by the Law Ministry envisages reduction of the Council member’s daily allowance per meeting and withdrawal of their facilities such as office space, residential accommodation and car with chauffeur to avoid disqualification of the MP for holding an “office of profit” as a member of the NDMC.
The Law Ministry is of the view that all these facilities provided to the members are in excess of what is necessary to perform the duties as a member of the Council and is likely to create conflict of interest between the legislative functions and the office he or she holds under the Government.
An NDMC official said: “Allowances for attending the meeting of the Council and other facilities are provided to all members of the Council and not to a specific category of members. These facilities are attached to the office of the member, whether he or she avails of it or not and as such these may have to be withdrawn for the members of the Council which may apply to all the members and not elected members only.”
“The Union Home Ministry has advised the NDMC chairperson to adopt and convey to the Ministry the appropriate resolution of the Council,” he added.