Penny-Pinching Billionaire: Mallya Claimed Rs 20,000 in MP Perks

The embattled liquor baron happily availed of the various perks of his office at the taxpayers’ expense. 

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Liquor baron Vijay Mallya (Photo: Reuters)

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya may be a billionaire, but that didn’t stop him from claiming Rs 20,000 of taxpayer money as perks to which he was entitled as a Rajya Sabha MP, as revealed in the reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query.

In response to an RTI query by a Bareilly-based activist Mohammad Khalid Jeelani, the Rajya Sabha secretariat disclosed that the liquor baron convicted in a dud cheque case and facing a non-bailable warrant for defaulting on bank loans of around 9,000 crore – regularly pocketed Rs 50,000 per month as a parliamentarian’s salary, as well as other perks, like constituency allowance and telephone reimbursements.

Jeelani told IANS that he was “shocked by the findings as Mallya was known for his flamboyant lifestyle – ‘living life king-size.’”

The reply also revealed that while Mallya had not availed of any airfare reimbursements, he happily availed of all other perks and emoluments as a member of the upper house of parliament.

Mallya, 61, received Rs 50,000 as Rajya Sabha MP’s salary and Rs 20,000 per month as constituency allowance between 1 July 2010, and 30 September 2010. He also pocketed the enhanced sum of Rs 45,000 under this head ever since.

The billionaire also drew Rs 6,000 per month toward office expenses in the same period and Rs 15,000 thereafter.

Mallya also raised a bill of Rs 1.73 lakh on calls from his official phone number. Up to 50,000 local calls are free for a Rajya Sabha MP.

However, he did not raise any bills against water and power consumptions, and medical expenses.

Mallya was elected to the upper house in 2002 as an Independent member from his home state of Karnataka with Congress and Janata Dal-Secular support.

In 2010, he was re-elected for a second term, this time with the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the JD-S. His tenure will end in July.

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