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Published On: Thu, Jun 27th, 2019

Modi turned down Manmohan Singh request for retaining his staff

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MMS_630_630NEW DELHI : Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has shot an angry letter to the PMO and Home Minister Amit Shah after the Centre decided to reduce the retinue of the former PM.
Dr Singh’s staff was, however, cut down from 14 to 5 on May 26, 2019 –  four days before the NDA II government was sworn in at the Centre.
Manmohan Singh protested against the fact that his staff was downsized from 14 people to just five. As per the rule, former PMs receive rent-free accommodation for the rest of their life, medical facilities, 14 secretarial staff, six domestic executive-class air tickets, unlimited train travel, five years of office expenses along with SPG cover for one year and free electricity and water for life.

However, after five years it’s up to the Centre to decide whether it wants to give further re-extension.  While the NDA government is only following due procedure, the Congress has protested against this move and has called it an insult to the former Prime Minister.

After this cut, Manmohan Singh will retain two peons, two Personal Assistants and one lower division clerk. It should be noted that the former PMs are entitled to full staff strength only for the first five years
In his letter, Manmohan cited Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s case who was allowed 12 staff members by the UPA. However, the Vajpayee government had permitted PV Narasimha Rao and Indra Kumar Gujral to expand their staff as per their need. Even before the 2004 Lok Sabha results were declared Vajpayee stopped using the official Prime Ministerial vehicle, a BMW, and switched to Hindustan Motors’ Ambassador.
The monthly income of the PM is Rs 1,60,000 including the basic salary and other allowances as per the constitution of India. According to a reply to an RTI in 2013, enquiring about the salary of the Prime Minister of India – his basic salary is Rs 50,000, with a sumptuary allowance of Rs. 3,000, a daily allowance of Rs 2,000 and a constituency allowance of Rs. 45,000.
According to sources, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has turned down a request from the former PM for retaining his 14-member staff for the smooth functioning of his office.The PMO conveyed to Dr Singh that Prime Minister Modi has not accepted his request to retain his 14-member support staff and decided to go by the rule book.




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