Fat paycheck, for what?

Bulging pockets
Last Updated 15 September 2010, 12:11 IST

The 200 per cent raise in MPs' salaries has left most IT professionals in the
City miffed. The salaries of these MPs now match those of high salary earners in the IT industry.

“The IT fraternity has contributed productively to the growth of the economy but what have the MPs done to deserve such a massive hike?” wonder most techies. Metrolife interacted with a few techies in the City to gauge their views on the hike and whether it is justified. Most young techies dub it as “mindless”. They reason that when the politicians spend crores on buying party tickets and towards election campaigning, why would a politician require a salary at all? Some others feel this would be instrumental in reducing corruption among the politicians.  

Deepa Sutrave, a senior manager with MindTree Ltd says, “They spend crores on party work, campaigning and in buying party tickets. A hike like this is peanuts for them.”

Vikram Hiresavi, an IT professional with a leading firm in the City thinks it’s good to bring the politicians on a par with the private sector because this would help reduce corruption. “The hike looks like a good incentive to reduce corruption but just like in the private sector, we need to introduce incentives backed by formal performance reviews.

We could have mechanisms to recall them mid-term from the Parliament, if required,” reasons Vikram, who thinks the hike must be performance-based.

“At a time when the country is reeling under poverty and dealing with rising inflation, a salary hike for the MPs is nothing less than ‘tragic’,” says Mona S, assistant vice president, SPA Group of Companies. “It’s an open secret that none of our elected representatives depend on their salaries for a living. I think the government should have used this money to alleviate the poor or provide free education,” Mona observes.

Sheena Dhanaraj with Mercer comes out strong when she says the MPs must be ‘sacked’. She feels there’s nothing more important than having a stable job. She says, “We work so hard, pay our taxes on time and take home a pittance at the end of the month. I am glad I have a job and I am holding onto it. The politicians must be shown the door! Let them understand the importance of just having a job.”

Sanjeev Bijapur, another techie feels that this hike is not justified.  It is neither based on performance nor is it based on responsibility. “They must be evaluated on certain guidelines which need to be published early. By doing so we come to know their achievements or contribution towards the nation. There should be an independent committee to decide the percentage of salary hike — which doesn't involve any political participation,” says Sanjeev.  He also feels the hike will be a burden on the economy.

(Published 15 September 2010, 12:11 IST)

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