The Government of India has approved a 300% hike in the salary of it’s Members of Parliament and still they are not happy. This approval on Friday was followed on Friday, by protests by the MPs that they would not work for in increase of 500% as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee.
They were expecting a salary of approximately 80,001 per month, which is at least Re. 1/- more than that of a bureaucrat. Simultaneously, the Government has also doubled their perks, but the parliamentarians stalled the proceedings of the Lok Sabha, creating difficulties for the Speaker Meira Kumar to maintain calm in the House.
The news is, that this hike is being reconsidered and might go up further.
An MP at present gets Rs 16,000 a month as salary; the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry suggested raising it to Rs 50,000 as against the Rs 80,001 recommended by a parliamentary panel.
The government on Friday cleared a 300 per cent salary hike from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 for MPs and doubled their perks.
The Union Cabinet in its meeting here okayed the Bill seeking three-fold raise in the basic salary of MPs. But it is less than the Rs 80,001 as recommended by a parliamentary committee, which had said MPs should get at least a rupee more than top bureaucrats.
The government also increased office expenses of parliamentarians from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per month. The constituency allowance has also been doubled from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per month, government sources said.
The limit for interest-free loan for MPs for buying a personal vehicle has been hiked fourfold to Rs 4 lakh from the present Rs 1 lakh.
The government has also hiked road mileage rate for vehicles used by MPs from Rs 13 per km to Rs 16 per km. Spouse of a parliamentarian can now travel any number of times in first class or executive class, the sources said.
An MP also gets a daily allowance of Rs 1,000 for each day when Parliament is in session or taking part in House Committee meetings. This has also been doubled.
Besides, a member is entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 a month and an office expense allowance of Rs 20,000 each month. These perks have also been doubled.
Their conveyance allowance has gone from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. Spouses of MPs are entitled to free train travel from their place of residence to Delhi. They also get up to eight free plane tickets from their place of residence to Delhi.
The national carrier Air India and Indian Airlines are bleeding losses and free Airfares to the tune of 36 Business class flights to MPs have been approved.
The Bill seeking amendments to the Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, will be now tabled in Parliament to be passed by both Houses before the hike is actually implemented.
Is such an enormous hike in their salaries justified? We are just looking at the quantam of salary and if the perks are also taken in to account then the real effect of increase is Rs. 60 lakhs. They are entitled to free elecricity, free telephone, free bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi, Interest free Car loan upto Rs. 4 lakh and still they are cribbing.
Would you like to compare their salaries with others? An Army Officer or a jawan, a civilian employee in the Goverment sector, get around 30.000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively and are entitled to pension after 40 years of service. Have we got different rules for different people?
Are our MPs under paid or poor? Out of 543 MPs, 315 are Crorepatis and still they are fighting for a raise. Surprising?
And is this salary and perks taxable? God only knows. But a meagre sum of Rs. 20/- per month payable to Central government employees as re-imbursement of tuition fees is taxable.
Pension benefits have also been increased from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 per month. A point worth mentioning here is that MPs will be entitled for pension after rendering 5 years of service to the nation. The sixth Central Pay Commission recommended that all employees should be granted Pension on completion of 20 years of service. Good.
Another recommendation was that those employees who retire having completed a qualified service between 16 to 20 years, may be given proportionate Pension. This was not agreed to by the Government.
Payment of proportionate pension to an employee who has served more than 16 years was NOT agreed and payment of pension after 5 years to MPs is agreed?
Can the Ministry of Public Grievances and Pension look into this also? Now is the time.
Not only this, the case for grant of One rank – One Pension to the retirees of the Armed Forces is gathering dust with the Ministry for the last many years.
The best thing that happened on that day was that the Congress as well as the opposition was united on an issue for the first time, which was never seen before.