From now on, Ministers will be able to take “any number of companions or relatives” along by air for free with Parliament giving nod to a bill providing for such facilities to them.

The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill was approved on Tuesday by the Rajya Sabha without discussion.

It was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 18, also without discussion.

The bill entitles Ministers to take along “any number of companions or relatives” by air at the same rates at which travelling allowances were payable to them and their family.

This brings the Ministers on par with the facilities given to MPs.

The Statement of the Objects and Reasons of the bill said it proposed to end the discrepancy between Ministers and MPs and allows the spouse or legitimate children or step—children, as also the Minister’s companions or relatives, to travel on their own or with the Minister.

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