Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's wife Sangeeta Jaitley has written to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu to decline his due pension and hand it over to needy Rajya Sabha staff. In a letter that she wrote to Naidu and marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sangeeta Jaitley cited the former FM's philanthropic past to politely decline the pension due and offer it to Class IV Rajya Sabha staff.
Sangeeta Jaitley wrote, "Without, by any means, intending to undermine the noble sentiment associated with the offer of pension entitled to the spouse of a late MP, a cause which Arun himself championed, I would humble request the hon'ble parliament to deploy this pension amount towards the welfare of the most needy segment of the institution, which Arun served for almost two decades; the Class IV employees of the Rajya Sabha. I am sure, Arun, too, would have wished the same."
Arun Jaitley passed away on August 24 at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after prolonged illness. Jaitley was admitted to the institute on August 9 following complaints of breathlessness and restlessness.
As per the Salary and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act, a former MP is entitled to a minimum pension of Rs 20,000 per month and an additional pension of Rs 1,500 for every year served as member of either house for a period of more than five years. That would have entitled Jaitley for at least Rs 50,000 per month.
The family is also entitled to approximately Rs 25,000 per month or Rs 3 lakh per annum as family pension to spouse or dependent of a deceased member/ex-MP, which amounts to 50 per cent of the pension.
Jaitley was known in his circles for his charitable deeds. He even paid for the education of the children of all his staff members. After a kidney transplant surgery at AIIMS in May 2018, the family had donated water coolers and dispensing units in the premier medical institute keeping in mind the amenities available to patients.