Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bill to hike MPs salaries tabled in Lok Sabha
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: A bill proposing a salary hike for members of Parliament from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 50,000 and doubling their key allowances to Rs. 40,000 was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2010 seeks to raise the daily allowance for members from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 and the constituency and office expense allowances from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000.
Introduced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, the bill also enhances pension for former members from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 20,000 with effect from the constitution of the present Lok Sabha on May 18 last year.
The proposal to hike the salaries received much attention lately as the MPs from Opposition parties, particularly the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janta Dal, and the Bahujan Samaj Party rejected the government earlier proposal. The proposal had been approved by the Union Cabinet but the MPs from these three political parties wanted their salaries to be one rupee more than that of the Cabinet Secretary, which is Rs. 80,001, as recommended by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
However, the government did not accept that and instead decided to raise the constituency and office allowances by Rs. 5,000 each.
The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of MPs headed by Congress' Charandas Mahant had recommended a hike in salary from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 80,001 — one rupee more than that of the Secretary to the Government of India.
In the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the Minister said the government, after going through the report of the Joint Committee, had decided to accept certain recommendations.
The government's decision on the Joint Committee report had brought protests in Parliament from a section of MPs led by Lalu Prasad (RJD) and Mulayam Singh (SP) who dubbed it as an “insult” to members and organised a mock Parliament.
The Minister said the provisions for raising salary, daily allowance and minimum and additional pension would involve a recurring annual expenditure of Rs. 103.76 crore. A one time expenditure of Rs. 118 crore would be incurred on account of arrears.
MPs may get Rs.10,000 more
Smita Gupta
New Delhi: The government appears to have achieved a compromise with the Opposition parties on the issue of increasing the salary and allowances of members of Parliament.
Top sources told The Hindu that while the government had rejected the demand to increase the salary from the current Rs. 16,000 to the Rs. 80,001 recommended by a Parliamentary Committee, it was willing to add another Rs. 10,000 to the allowances that MPs get.
The formula arrived at, the sources said, was that the current salary would be increased to Rs. 50,000 – as recommended by the Union Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, and which was earlier rejected by the Opposition parties as being a dilution of the parliamentary committee's recommendations — but that the constituency allowance which was being upped from Rs. 20,000 a month to Rs. 40,000 a month could now be pegged at Rs. 50,000 – an increase of Rs. 10,000 over what the government had proposed.
Alternatively, the constituency allowance will be hiked by Rs. 5,000 and the secretarial allowance by Rs. 5,000, adding up to Rs. 10,000 a month.
This emerged after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh on Saturday morning.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde and Bahujan Samaj Party leader Dara Singh Chauhan were also present at the meeting.
The changes agreed upon will have to be taken to the Cabinet again.

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