Amid concerns over the long-standing crisis looming in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government on Monday decided to slash the salaries of the President, Prime Minister, Central ministers and MPs by 30 per cent for the coming year.

Taking a major step towards tackling the crisis, the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, reducing allowances and pension by 30 per cent with effect from April 1, 2020 for a year.

The President, Vice President and Governors of States have voluntarily decided to take a pay cut as a social responsibility, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said and added that the money will go to Consolidated Fund of India.

The Cabinet has also approved temporary suspension of MPLAD Fund of MPs during 2020-21 and 2021-22 for managing health and adverse impact of the Coronavirus outbreak in India.

The consolidated amount of MPLAD Funds for two years, which is Rs 7900 Crore, will go to Consolidated Fund of India, the minister said.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Council of Ministers via video conferencing, the first of this kind, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were also present in the hall with the PM Modi.

This comes hours after PM Modi’s address to party workers on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Prime Minister in his speech stressed that “it is going to be a long war” against the Coronavirus pandemic and asked the countrymen “to not get tired or take rest”.

The purse strings of the government are being tightened in view of the coronavirus emergency and a fund — PM CARES — has been set up for relief efforts.

Senior Congress Ahmed Patel “welcomed” the Cabinet decision, saying that “in difficult times it is necessary that we help citizens”.

“As a Member of Parliament, I welcome the government’s decision to cut salaries of MPs. In this difficult time, this is the least we can do to help fellow citizens,” he tweeted.

India in the past few days has seen a surge in the number of deaths and confirmed cases of Coronavirus.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India has recorded 4067 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus including 109 deaths so far.