Congress minister and lawmakers take a 20% salary cut

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New Delhi, Aug 20 (ANI): Congress party has said its ministers and lawmakers will take a 20 percent cut in salaries to express solidarity with poor people facing a severe drought in the country.

A special meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) discussed the country's drought situation here on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Party spokesperson Janardan said that the austerity measure was mooted by Party President Sonia Gandhi.

"She (Sonia Gandhi) proposed that Congress Members of Parliament, state legislatures including ministers and other salary office holders will accept 20 per cent voluntary cut of their salaries for one year with effect from September 1, 2009. This was unanimously adopted," he added.

Dwivedi quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attended the meeting, as saying that the country was capable of tackling the twin problems of drought and price rise.

"He (Manmohan Singh) accepted that the situation is bad but efforts are also being made to meet the situation with equal efficiency and he expressed the hope and said that country has the capability and will to takle this problem successfully," Dwivedi said.

The Congress party has also urged the government to keep prices of essential commodities in check with special emphasis on oil seeds and pulses.

Meanwhile in Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that he has apprised the central ministries concerned about the drought-like situation in the state.

"We met all the ministers concerned and discussed elaborately about the condition of Bihar with them and also asked them to take immediate action as the situation has worsened here," he added.

India's monsoon rains have been 29 percent below normal since the beginning of the June-September season, hurting crops such as rice and cane and triggering a sharp rise in food prices in India and sugar futures abroad. (ANI)

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