Three-fold pay hike not enough; MPs want more

Three-fold pay hike not enough; MPs want more

The Cabinet, which deferred taking a decision last week, approved the salary hike from
Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 but disgruntled MPs wanted it be increased to Rs 80,001 – at par with a secretary to the government of India – as recommended by a parliamentary committee. The Re 1 margin was more a matter or form as the panel had said that as per protocol parliamentarians should receive salaries higher than secretary-rank officers.
After MPs’ salaries were revised some three or four years back, a parliamentarian now gets Rs 16,000 a month as emoluments. The Parliamentary Affairs Ministry suggested raising it to Rs 50,000 as against the recommendation for Rs 80,001. Besides, a salary, an MP receives a host of perquisites, including Rs 1,000 for each day he/she attends proceedings in Parliament or when he takes part in House committee meetings. Under the new proposals, the attendance allowance has been doubled.

Other benefits
There are other monetary benefits an MP is entitled to. For instance, a member gets a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 a month and an office expense allowance of a like amount every month. The Cabinet has now approved of doubling these perks.

It might be too hasty to accuse MPs – some greater luminaries in the ruling UPA and the Opposition were recently found to have not spent a single paise from their MPLADS funds on their constituencies – of plundering the state’s coffers after awarding themselves the huge hike. But when the long list of allowances, perks and benefits that MPs are entitiled to is taken into account, the hike should satisfy them as it makes them some of the best-paid legislators in the world.

Among the perks, the Cabinet has approved a four-fold increase in MPs’ conveyance allowance from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. Their spouses will be entitled to free train travel to and from their place of residence to Delhi.

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