The government on Wednesday introduced a bill for three-fold increase in MPs' salary unannounced just before the nuclear liabilities bill was introduced.
The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha by Parliamentary Affairs minister Pawan Bansal was not listed in House’s daily business and its introduced at end of the pre-lunch session came as a surprise.
The bill, which failed to reflect Rs 10,000 hike in allowances approved by the cabinet on Monday, would result in additional annual expenditure of Rs 142 crore and Rs 118 crore one time burden for paying salary arrears since 15 Lok Sabha was constituted.
The financial memorandum of the bill dated 20 August stated that the MPs' constituency and office expenses allowances would be doubled from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per month.
The cabinet on Monday had decided to increase both the allowances to Rs 45,000 per month, while continuing with its earlier decision of three-fold increase in salaries from existing Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000.
A senior government functionary, however, said the increase of Rs 10,000 as decided by the Cabinet would be provided through changes in MP salary rules and therefore, did not require mention in the law.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony said the government had started implementing recommendations of the high level panel on one-rank one-pension, and appealed ex-servicemen not to take the extreme step of returning their awards that the nation has bestowed up on them.
"In one stretch, we will not be able to implement it but we are near that goal... it is a long process," he said.
Congress MP Anto Antony has demanded for a legislation to establish a carbon exchange market for rubber, saying India did not have a single such mechanism in the country.
Antony said in the Lok Sabha that rubber trees were a unique agro-forestry asset with multiple utility in industry and employment besides helping in carbon mitigation in green house gas emission and conserving the environment. He argued that the development of carbon exchange market would help stabilise the income rubber cultivators.