Amid Opposition from the Left parties, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill hiking salary and allowances of MPs as the Government announced it will bring in a fresh bill in the next session to set up a permanent mechanism for such revisions.
The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2006, was passed by a voice vote with Left parties opposing its passage, demanding formation of an independent committee to decide on the matter instead of it being done by the members themselves.
"We are lawmakers and should not make laws that give us additional financial benefit, especially because there is serious economic distress and large employment," CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta said, adding, "MPs should not take up the responsibility of increasing their own salaries."
This was supported by CPM's Basudeb Acharya who termed the bill and its timing as an "embarrassment" and also demanded that MPs should not have any say in fixing their own salaries.
However, support for the bill flowed in from all other parties, including from Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, JD (U) and Shiromani Akali Dal.
Among other benefits, the bill -- prepared after taking into account the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances -- proposes to hike the salary of MPs to Rs 16,000 from Rs 12,000, daily allowance to Rs 1,000 from Rs 500, air travel passes to 34 from 32 in a year, apart from increasing the pension to Rs 8,000 from the present Rs 3,000.