Speaker writes to PM on MPs salary issue | india | Hindustan Times
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Speaker writes to PM on MPs salary issue

In a bid to silence criticism on MPs deciding their own salaries and perks, Somnath Chatterjee asks PM to set up an independent commission for the purpose.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 22:35 IST

In a bid to silence criticism on MPs deciding their own salaries and perks, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to set up an independent commission for the purpose.

The letter followed submission of report by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Salaries and Allowance of MPs which recommended that status quo be continued.

Chatterjee, while forwarding the report of the joint committee, however, expressed his displeasure about continuance of existing practice of MPs deciding their own salaries and allowances, official sources said.

He also referred to the meeting of leaders of all parties in May last year which had unanimously approved setting up of independent commission for the purpose.

While there was unanimity on setting up of the commission, numerous ideas were suggested on the issue of who should head such a commission, including Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and RBI Governor, the Speaker is understood to have said in the letter.

"A bill to set up the commission is learnt to have been drafted and vetted by the Law Ministry. It was supposed to have been placed before the Cabinet. However, its fate is not known.

"The Speaker is keen to know what happened to the bill," sources said.

Pointing out that in no country with functioning Parliamentary democracy do the MPs decide their own salaries, Chatterjee is understood to have urged the Prime Minister to consider the matter on priority basis to prevent MPs from facing the criticism.