Former MPs, whose pensions were last revised in 2009, may now see a hefty hike in their retirement benefits. Government sources told HT that the monthly pension for ex-MPs is likely to go up to Rs 35,000 a month from Rs 20,000 a month — a 75% hike.
A major breakthrough in pensions for ex-MPs came under the first NDA government, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when they introduced pension for all MPs irrespective of their tenure.
Earlier, only MPs who had completed a 5-year term were entitled to post-retirement benefits.
The Modi government is also set to increase the rate of additional pension for each completed year in excess of five years. The centre is considering additional pension of Rs 2,000 per month instead of the current rate of Rs 1,500.
In other words, if a parliamentarian has served for seven years, he or she will get monthly four thousand additional pension on the top of his basic pension of Rs 35,000.
Sitting MPs, who have received routine hikes to keep up with inflation, currently get a salary of `50,000 per month. The additional perks and allowances include Rs 45,000 per month as constituency allowance, Rs 2,000 daily if he attends parliament and Rs 30,000 for secretarial assistance, among other things.
Parliament’s nod is required to enhance the former MPs’ pension. Government sources added that the legal amendments will be brought in the winter session after inter-ministerial consultations.
In sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on welfare of women, the definition of “dependents” for family pension will also include divorced or widowed daughters of former MPs.
The government is also mulling the option of providing family pension for a much longer period of time after the MPs demise.
The pension for former MPs was introduced during the tenure of Indira Gandhi — Rs 3,000 per month — but only for those who completed a term in Parliament.
In 2009, UPA government enhanced it to Rs 20,000 per month.