The President of India is due for a compensation overhaul, one that might see her salary double to Rs 1 lakh. Considering it’s been a month since she started reporting to duty, it’s not a bad increment. The position of the First Citizen is not an easy one. So the Rs 50,000 pay packet does seem a bit on the paltry side, even if it excludes house rent allowance and other perks. The revision comes in the wake of a realisation that in all the massive upgrades that ministers and bureaucrats doled out for themselves, any thought of hiking the President’s paycheck was given amiss.
We may treat our President like Person-Like-Us Monarchy, but the fact remains: our ceremonial head of State is on contract for a five-year term and automatic renewal is not part of the package. Not that the Presidents are ever required to reach out for their purses. But our Presidents, being by and large ‘sons and daughters of the soil’, may have actually pondered about their take-home pay. Unless, of course, one takes into account that being retired professionals,they are only too happy to work at lower salaries, given that their medical cheques are taken care of.
The job and its related glories being what they are, it can be a little iffy to ask for a raise, even if you have seethed about your ‘junior colleagues’ being better paid. As in everything else, so in remuneration. The First Citizen must set an example for the nation to follow. Raise the bar high, and the President will still take home a minuscule of what any CEO does. Poor, dearie President.