Malawi Parliament is still undecided on a recommendation to buy 4×4 vehicles for all members of Parliament (MPs) as Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) chairperson Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda says the proposal has been passed on to the next commission.
Last year, the commission agreed to buy 4×4 vehicles and “reliable” cellphones for all MPs during the 44th Session of Parliament which started Friday.
According to minutes of a PSC meeting held on May 21 2012, the commission also proposed that all MPs should fly business class when on official duties and have access to emergency and general purpose loans of up to K1 million and K3 million, respectively.
In an interview on Tuesday, Chimunthu Banda said the recommendations on the new perks remain proposals until they are adopted by the commission in future.
“There have been those proposals from time immemorial. The proposals have been passed from one parliamentary term to the next. We felt that it would not be feasible to implement these proposals during our term.
“We have, therefore, pushed the proposals to the next commission which will come for the 2014 to 2019 term,” said Chimunthu Banda.
He said the proposed perks have not gone to Ministry of Finance or Office of the President and Cabinet for consideration because Parliament is yet to adopt them.
Currently, MPs fly economy class. If the recommendation on travel is implemented, the legislators will join Cabinet ministers who already fly business class on official duties.
Among the resolutions for the conditions of service for the next set of parliamentarians is also an increase in the amount of motor vehicle loan from K5 million to $40 000 (about K14 million).
The commission also recommended that the MPs’ basic salary should be hiked from K120 000 to K400 000, maintenance allowance from K175 000 to K275 000, house allowance from K45 000 to K100 000 and constituency allowance from K35 000 to K100 000.