Varun Gandhi wants MPs to forego privileges, considering farmer’s plight | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Varun Gandhi wants MPs to forego privileges, considering farmer’s plight

Varun Gandhi also pitched for setting up an external body — independent of parliamentarians — to decide their salary.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2017 16:56 IST
Kumar Uttam
“Arrogating to ourselves the authority to increase our own fiscal compensation is not in line with the morals of our democracy,” Varun Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha.
“Arrogating to ourselves the authority to increase our own fiscal compensation is not in line with the morals of our democracy,” Varun Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha. (AFP FILE PHOTO)

BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Tuesday pitched for setting up an external body — independent of parliamentarians — to decide their salary.

The Sultanpur MP also demanded that parliamentarians should forego their privileges for the remaining period of Parliament, considering the economic conditions of the last man in the society, especially farmers.

Parliament in India decides remuneration of its members, and a proposal to double their salary and significantly hike their allowances is currently pending with the government. An MP currently draws a salary of Rs 50,000 and nearly an equal amount as allowances.

Incidentally, Tamil Nadu assembly members on July 19 gave a 100 % hike to themselves. The state is one of the worst drought affected states, where farmers are protesting for remunerative price of their produce.

“Arrogating to ourselves the authority to increase our own fiscal compensation is not in line with the morals of our democracy,” Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha.

He disagreed with the argument about MPs getting paid like private sector, arguing that those employed in the private sector are driven primarily by self-interest. “Ours is a service to the nation, a mission to make this the India of our dreams. To compare these two motives is to misunderstand the commitment to public life,” Gandhi said.

The BJP MP also invoked first Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whose government had decided that his ministers will not avail their salaries for 6 months in view of the economic sufferings of the citizens at that time.

“As compared to a 13% rise (in salaries and allowance) in the UK, we have raised our salaries 400% in the last decade. Have we really earned this massive increment?” Gandhi said.

Suggesting that parliamentarian have failed to live up to their job, he noted that barely 50% of the bills have been passed after scrutiny by Parliamentary Committees and 41% of bills have been passed without discussion.