After pay hike, MPs want 3G facility

Grabbing hi-tech pie

The charges towards the 3G package as well as the additional usage of facility would be adjustable within the 1,50,000 free calls available every year to the members. The new facility provided by MTNL/BSNL is optional for members, the Lok Sabha secretariat said adding that members would have to bear the expenses towards 3G compatible handset on which the 3G facility works.

The parliamentary panel has recently recommended a hike in the monthly salary of MPs from Rs 16,000 to Rs 80,001, a rupee more than a Secretary to the Union government. The matter is under the consideration of the government.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal said the extent of hike in salary and allowances of MPs has not been decided and the government hoped to introduce a bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.

The last hike in salaries and allowances of 795 MPs––545 of Lok Sabha and 250 of Rajya Sabha–– was effected some ten years ago.

The committee, headed by Charan Das Mahant (Congress), has recommended raising the daily allowance from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 when Parliament is in session.

Raise in allowances

Office expense allowances as well as the constituency allowance are also recommended to be increased substantially.

The report of the Committee has not been tabled in either House but was presented to Speaker Meira Kumar and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari in May.

Meanwhile, market leader Bharti Airtel on Sunday cautioned that 3G mobile services would not come cheap, especially for subscribers in metros, as service providers had to pay dearly for the spectrum.

“Take the example of Delhi itself, or Mumbai. The amount for spectrum that has been charged is close to Rs 3,500 crore each... Just to recover license fees and input cost, it works out to be Rs 700-900 per month,” Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal said.

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