Parliament affairs ministry recommends hike in salary and two allowances raising itfrom Rs 1.40 lakh to Rs 2.80 lakh
2010The year when salaries and allowances of MPs were last revised SalaryCurrentRs 50,000ProposedRs one lakh Constituency allowanceCurrentRs 45,000ProposedRs 90,000 Office expense allowanceCurrentRs 45,000ProposedRs 90,000 Hundred per cent salary hike for Members of Parliament? This is one proposal that is neither likely to run short of numbers nor be sent to a House committee for scrutiny.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parliamentary affairs ministry is recommending raise in salaries of MPs from Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh, constituency allowance from Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000 and office expense allowance (for stationery items and secretarial assistance) from Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000, according to sources. This would take the total of salary and two allowances of MPs from Rs 1.40 lakh to Rs 2.80 lakh a month.The new recommendations would be placed before the finance ministry, which has to approve it and provide for budgetary allocations. Once that is done, a bill amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, would be brought before both Houses for approval.The parliamentary affairs ministry has also approved the demand by the Joint Committee of MPs on Salaries and Allowances of Parliamentarians to raise the pension from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000. There is unlikely to be any change in their daily allowance as the ministry had turned down the proposal to raise it from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, sources said.In fact, it has rejected around 75 per cent of the more than 60 proposals made by the panel, headed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, on several other allowances and perks. The last time salaries and allowances of MPs were raised was in 2010. The bill to raise salaries of lawmakers generally gets support from both sides of the political aisle, but last time some MPs suggested than an independent body be set up to decide on future pay of parliamentarians in view of public criticism on them deciding their own salaries.”The Left parties have been opposed to the existing procedure of MPs deciding their own salaries. It is unfair. We have suggested that it should be left to an independent body,” said CPI MP D Raja.The AAP government had set up an independent committee on revision of pay and allowances for Delhi MLAs. The panel had recommended an increase from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2.10 lakh per month, including an increase from Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 in salary. The Delhi assembly cleared a bill on the same lines.In the case of MPs, changes in their salaries and pensions are done through legislative route, while perks and other allowances can be revised through a notification.Renowned journalist and former parliamentarian Kuldip Nayar said it was fair to increase the salaries of MPs but suggested that a mechanism on the lines of the Pay Commission could be considered.”When India got independence, Gandhiji said it should be only Rs 500 for lawmakers. But as time went by, they started feeling the pinch. Now, when everything is so costly it is justified to increase their salaries and allowances. I was an MP and I know that they get no subsidy actually except in the railway canteen of Central Hall… But it may have been better if there was something on the lines of Pay Commission,” he said.Among the suggestions of the panel of MPs that the ministry has rejected are providing canteen facilities on the lines of defence personnel, fourth of travel fare as incidentals, former MPs to be entitled to diplomatic passport and have access to VIP lounges at airports, the word “spouse” to be replaced with “companion” to accompany MPs in AC First Class train travel, increasing free air tickets between sessions for MPs from 34 to 43 and travel allowance during sessions.
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