This seems to be the season for pay hikes.
As the government begins its analysis of the Sixth Pay Commission report for central government employees, the Union Cabinet is likely to decide on setting up a pay commission for members of Parliament to spare them the embarrassment of giving themselves generous hikes.
At the same meeting, the Cabinet is also likely to take a call on the controversial sports policy that had proposed the establishment of an independent sports arbitration mechanism for resolving disputes, putting sports on the Concurrent List and levying a cess for expansion of sporting activities.
But there are already protests over the draft policy.
The ministry’s plan to set up the sports regulatory authority for better control of the federations and to move it from the State List to the Concurrent List has the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) up in arms. IOA chairman Suresh Kalmadi said he hadn’t heard from the government after a meeting earlier this year to bridge the differences between 40 sports federations and the ministry. He suggested he was surprised the draft policy had been listed for Cabinet approval since the working group, comprising all concerned parties to settle the contentious issues, had not met even once. “We have not been consulted at all.”
Smooth ride for panel on MPs’ salaries?
The proposal to set up an Emoluments Commission by amending the 1954 law that governs salaries and allowances of MPs is, by comparison, expected to have a smoother ride past the Cabinet.
The MPs had got an assurance from Parliamentary Affairs Minister PR Dasmunsi to set up a pay commission for them before the start of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2006, when they last gave themselves a generous hike in 2006. This commission — to be headed by a person of eminence in a public field — would give its recommendation every five years.
Government employees, who get dearness allowance to neutralise the impact of inflation, have to wait for 10 years.
A panel led by the prime minister — with members drawn from presiding officers of the two Houses and the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha — would identify the five members of the commission.