New Delhi : Sitting and former MPs from various parties owe a staggering Rs.9 crore to state-run telecom provider MTNL, over and above the free calls they are allowed, a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query revealed Tuesday.
The reply lists 399 MPs who alone owe Rs.7.10 crore dues to MTNL, followed by Rs.1.97 crore owed by six sitting members.
The list for former MPs defaulting upon their bills is led by Rajya Sabha ex-member Janardhan Yadav (Bharatiya Janata Party) whose pending bill is around Rs.22.29 lakh.
Others in the list include ex-Lok Sabha MP Basavaraj Patil (Congress) whose dues amount to around Rs.17.20 lakh followed by late Rajya Sabha MP K. Mohammad Khan (Congress) who owed Rs.15.28 lakh to MTNL.
The list of defaulting sitting MPs is led by Rajya Sabha MP Narender Budhania (Congress) with Rs. 13.37 lakh unpaid followed by Lok Sabha MP Ram Sunder Das (Janata Dal-United), with Rs.9.49 lakh, and Bhakta Charan Das (Congress) whose dues are Rs.3.3l lakh.
“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,” said Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the RTI activist who filled the application.
The MPs currently get 1.5 lakh free calls including dial-up internet facility from MTNL.