New Delhi, Nov 23: With the country reeling under the hefty fuel price hike and shooting inflation levels, a startling revelation has come out. Reports have emerged that MPs across political parties owe state-run telecom provider MTNL a whopping Rs 9 crore in dues. The matter came out following a Right to Information (RTI) query. This bill is over and above the free calls they are allowed.
The RTI query revealed that as many as 399 MPs alone owe as many as Rs.7.10 crore to MTNL. Another 6 sitting members owed the telecom provider Rs.1.97 crore. The first in the list of former MPs who have failed to pay their dues is Rajya Sabha ex-member Janardhan Yadav from BJP whose pending bill is around Rs.22.29 lakh.
The other prominent members in the shameful list is Rajya Sabha MP Narender Budhania from the Congress who has an unpaid bill of Rs. 13.37 lakh, Lok Sabha MP Ram Sunder Das from the Janata Dal-United with dues of Rs.9.49 lakh, and Bhakta Charan Das from Congress with dues of Rs.3.3l lakh.
Also in the list include ex-Lok Sabha MP Basavaraj Patil from the Congress who owes MTNL around Rs.17.20 lakh, late Rajya Sabha MP K. Mohammad Khan also from the Cong who owes Rs.15.28 lakh.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the RTI activist who filled the application commented, "It is not clear how MTNL will recover such heavy amount. Rules should allow auto-deduction of all government bills from salaries and pensions of present and former parliamentarians."
The MPs are entitled to make 1.5 lakh free calls including dial-up internet facility from MTNL.