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Speaker silent on salary hike issue

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2010 15:26 IST
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Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Tuesday preferred to remain neutral on the question of salary hike for MPs, an issue which stalled the proceedings of the House for two hours.

"At the moment, you saw a turmoil in the House and their (MPs') different opinions. When different opinions are there in the House, for a Speaker, who is supposed to be neutral, to express her opinion will not be proper," she told reporters outside Parliament House.

To a question on setting up a separate salary commission for MPs to decide on their pay package, Kumar said she will have to go through the issue.

Members of several parties led by RJD chief Lalu Prasad today forced adjournment of the Lok Sabha for two hours protesting the deferment of hike in salaries and allowances of MPs.

A day after the Union Cabinet deferred a decision on the proposed increase, an angry Prasad created uproar in the House during Zero Hour. He was joined by Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and other members of SP, BSP, RJD, JD(U), Shiv Sena and Trinamool Congress.

Several Congress members were also seen standing in support of Prasad's demand for a fair deal to the law makers.

MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary, but the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry has suggested raising it to Rs 50,000 as against Rs 80,001 recommended by a Parliamentary Committee on the grounds that it would be one rupee more than that of a secretary at Rs 80,001.

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.