Some MPs have come for two to three terms to Parliament but they still complain that Nu 1 mn is not enough to buy a decent vehicle.
A little math is in order.
An MP gets Nu 1 mn every term in cash to buy a car. But bigger than this is the Prado quota now worth upto Nu 2 mn.
However, let’s be conservative as the govt is willing to monetize the quota at Nu 1.5 mn.
So an MP has Nu 2.5 mn every term for a vehicle. This is enough to buy a Korean SUV. As car showrooms sell civil service quotas at Nu 150,000-200,000 and a Korean SUV comes for around Nu 1.8 mn the MP’s vehicle expense can be around Nu 2 mn at most.
This still leaves Nu 500,000 in the pocket.
However, most MPs buy Indian cars at around Nu 8 to 9 lakhs and pocket the Nu 1.7 to Nu 1.6 mn.
A two-term MP will have Nu 5 mn. This is enough to buy a three bedroom apartment (45 lakhs) and a small Indian vehicle at 5 lakhs.
Alternatively, the MP can buy the Korean SUV and keep Nu 3 mn in the bank.
However, even many second-term MPs buy Indian vehicles of 8 to 9 lakhs. They can keep the 42 to 41 lakhs in the bank.
A three-term MP will have Nu 7.2 mn (after deducting 3 lakhs as the first Parliament MPs got 7 lakhs to buy a vehicle).
So these three-time MPs will have Nu 72 lakhs to buy a vehicle. This money is enough to buy a three-bedroom apartment (45 lakhs), a Korean car (20 lakhs) with still 7 lakhs in the bank.
Or the MP can buy a Korean SUV and keep Nu 52 lakhs in the bank.
Ironically, even third-term MPs still complain the Nu 1 mn is not enough.
This is not even touching the salary and allowances of MPs that comes to around 117,000 a month or 70 lakhs in five years.
The discretionary allowance, which is separate, now comes to Nu 750,000 in five years.
Yes, MPs have to travel to their constituencies but they will get DSA at Nu 2,000 per day. Instead of Nu 2,000 DSA they can also opt to stay in a hotel of Nu 3000 per night and get Nu 1,000 extra.
MPs can upgrade flights to executive class while traveling out and when the RGoB is paying for such official trips.
I hope your eyes are full of tears by now feeling sorry for our MPs who don’t have ‘enough money’ to buy decent vehicles.
I suggest we start an MPs’ ‘Vehicle Charity Fund’ to which we all can contribute and add to the above amount.
I expect our farmers and private sector employees to be the biggest contributors since they are doing so well.
By Tenzing Lamsang
The writer is the Editor of The paper and the views are his own