MPs sore over delay in pay hike, to raise matter in Parliament

Prasad, who said he will raise the matter in Lok Sabha tomorrow, slammed opponents of the raise as 'Crorepatis' or multi-millionaires who do not realise the fate of the ordinary Members of Parliament.

Some of the views voiced by the MPs was that they are paid the lowest in the world. One lawmaker also said most of them are poor.

The Union Cabinet has deferred the decision on the three-time increase envisaged in the MPs' Salaries hike bill due to lack of consensus  within ministers.

"I am going to be the Monitor. I will raise the sentiments of MPs in the House(Lok Sabha) tomorrow," an agitated Prasad told PTI. He claimed that he had the backing of members of almost all parties including the Congress and that they had been approaching him to take up the matter aggressively.

Prasad said a majority of MPs were upset after the Cabinet deferred its decision. "They(MPs) are in pity conditions," he added.

The proposal to raise salaries and allowances of MPs has been put off by the Union Cabinet twice in the past.

Congress MP Rajeev Shukla said,  "The salary of Indian MPs is the lowest in the world. They are  being paid less than a clerk in the government... MPs are  above the secretaries and look at the difference in their  salaries."

BJP leader S S Ahluwalia said, "You must understand problems of MPs.""A large number of members are quite poor and they have to fend for themselves. They have to take care of their family and also their constituents," another opposition member, who did not want to be named, said.

A Union Minister said the plight of several former MPs was very sad.Some opposition members were also reportedly angry that the proposal to hike the salary was opposed by certain ministers in the Cabinet.

MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary while a secretary to the government gets Rs 80,000 a month. The proposal is to hike the salary to Rs 50,000.

Besides the base salary, an MP gets a daily allowance of Rs 1,000 for each day when Parliament is in session or a sitting of a House committee is scheduled. A member is also entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 per month and monthly office expense allowance of an equivalent amount.

Apart from these, they are also entitled to a certain number of air journeys, AC first class train travel and rent free flat or hostel accommodation through out the term.
Both Shukla and Ahluwalia are members of the committee headed by Congress MP from Chhattishgarh Charandas Mahant, which made a recommendation to fix MPs salary one rupee more than that of a secretary at Rs 80,001.However, the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry suggested raising it to Rs 50,000.

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