MPs sore over delay in pay hike, to raise matter in Parliament
The deferment of the MPs' pay hike bill has evoked sharp reaction among law makers cutting across party lines with RJD chief Lalu Prasad deciding to lead the protest in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2010 20:55 IST
The deferment of the MPs' pay hike bill has evoked sharp reaction among law makers cutting across party lines with RJD chief Lalu Prasad deciding to lead the protest in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
"I am going to be the Monitor. I will raise the sentiments of MPs in the House tomorrow," a visibly agitated Prasad told PTI, claiming that he had the backing of members of almost all parties including the Congress.
Prasad said a majority of MPs were upset as the government deferred a decision on it in view of lack of consensus in the Cabinet.
The proposal to raise salaries and allowances of MPs has been put off by the Union Cabinet twice in the past.
The RJD chief said those who have opposed the Bill in the Cabinet were 'crorepatis (multi-millionaires)' who do not realise the fate of the ordinary members of Parliament.
He said he will lead the protest on the issue in Lok Sabha tomorrow and claimed members from almost all parties have been approaching him to take it up as aggressively.
Another opposition member said that Lok Sabha will witness a stormy scene on the issue, which they think is very important.
"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," a member said.
A Union Minister said the plight of several former MPs was very sad.
Some opposition members were 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 office expense allowance of another Rs 20,000 each month.
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.
Remarking on the issue 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 SS Ahluwalia said, "You must understand problems of MPs."
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.