Poll Panel Members Voluntarily Give Up Perks As Part Of Austerity Measure

According to an Election Commission statement, the two have decided not to avail exemption from income tax on sumptuary allowance and also surrender two of the three Leave Travel Concessions (LTC) available each year.

Poll Panel Members Voluntarily Give Up Perks As Part Of Austerity Measure

Rajiv Kumar assumed charge as the Chief Election Commissioner last week. (File)

New Delhi:

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey on Friday decided to voluntarily give up perks and privileges as an austerity measure.

According to an Election Commission statement, the two have decided not to avail exemption from income tax on sumptuary allowance and also surrender two of the three Leave Travel Concessions (LTC) available each year.

After assuming the charge as the Chief Election Commissioner last week, Mr Kumar on Friday held the first meeting of the Election Commission, along with fellow Election Commissioner Pandey.

At present, there is one vacancy in the poll panel which had been a three-member body since October 1993.

"Among other things, the commission reviewed the perks and privileges available to the CEC and Election Commissioners (ECs), including the income tax exemptions given to them on sumptuary allowance," the statement said.

The CEC and ECs draw salary perks and perquisites as per Section 3 of the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991. They are entitled to a monthly sumptuary allowance of Rs 34,000.

There is no income tax payable by the CEC and ECs on this allowance. They are also entitled to three LTCs in a year for self, spouse and dependent members of the family.

The statement said, "The Commission felt the need of observing austerity in personal entitlements. The Commission unanimously decided that CEC and ECs will not take any income tax benefits presently given to them."

"It was decided to send the proposal to the Central government for appropriate action. Further, CEC and ECs will avail only one LTC in a year in place of three LTCs presently available to them," it read.

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