The leader (name withheld) was a CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal. Former Parliamentarians are also entitled to free first AC train ticket when travelling alone or a AC Tier-II ticket when travelling with a companion.
This former MP had booked 63 train tickets in the month of January 2019 but travelled only on seven of those tickets. He sought reimbursement for all the 63 tickets, costing ₹ 1,69,005. The cost of the seven tickets he used is only ₹22,085. Government had to bear the extra cost of ₹1,46,920.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat has found several instances of MPs and former lawmakers booking multiple tickets and not availing of them yet seeking reimbursement. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had directed the Rajya Sabha secretariat to look into the issue after it was brought to his notice.
In another case, that of a sitting member of Rajya Sabha, the officials found that the person had undertaken a journey only on 15% of the tickets bought in January 2019 but sought reimbursement for all tickets.
For calender year 2019, Railways has asked the Rajya Sabha secretariat to pay ₹7.8 Crore for ticket expenses of sitting and former members. This is only 1/3 of the expenditure on train ticket by Parliamentarians, both former and sitting, and their companion, spouses. The remaining 2/3rd will be paid by the Lok Sabha.
Railways is likely to soon alter its software to distinguish between train bookings by MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha secretariat has already advised the members to cancel the tickets they do not use, failing which the cost will be recovered from them.
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19 Comments on this Story
Chandrashekar S220 days ago
Shame, Shame, Shame on such public servants(public looters)
Sanjib Basu221 days ago
see CPM members are very honest , they do not take bribes ( as because no one approaches them, except when Unions resort to strikes!), so only way to survive is to take money which traditionally are MP'S own.. It must be Prakash Karat?
Jk Bose221 days ago
Why not name & shame all these looters ? Oh yes, they are even shameless !