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The government plans to move a bill to hike the salaries of 795 Members of Parliament (MPs) very soon.

Well, no points for guessing that this is one such bill that will not meet any kind of resistance from the opposition parties. In fact, not surprisingly, there is an all-party consensus demanding that lawmakers be given a salary on par with secretaries to the government of India at Rs. 80,000 per month.

Reportedly, MPs have proposed a five-fold increase in salary from Rs. 16,000 per month to Rs. 60,000. Well, who knows they might just land up with little more than double of their prevailing salary structure. However, the MPs have confronted saying that as per the warrant of precedence (or the list of protocol) wherein MPs are enlisted at a higher 21st rank as against 23rd for secretaries they are equivalent to secretary-level officers (in fact, even above them), justifying their demand for an equivalent salary hike. My question to readers is Isnt such ridiculously low salary levels for the MPs one of the prime factors responsible for the rampant corruption? Inadvertently, such low salary structures will act as a root cause for the spread of under-thetable payment practices. Well, its not that the salary structure of these MPs are limited to the basic salary of Rs.16,000 only as mentioned above. They are also entitled to constituency allowance of Rs.20,000 per month, apart from an equal amount for office expenses allowance as well. An MP also gets a daily allowance of Rs.1000 for each day when Parliament is in session.

Well, what surprises me is how can some of the allowances mentioned above, be more than the base salary of Rs.16000 for the Members of Parliament? This brings me to conclusion that either their basic salary is under-stated or their allowances and perks are over-stated.

Definitely, going by the costs related to security, troupes, tours and most of all ever rising cost of living and the wage index for skilled urban labour its the basic salary structure that seems to be screwed rather than the allowance and the perk categories. In my opinion, the government should really call for an annual appraisal policy system, mostly linked with the issuance of report card based on performance rather than a status quo policy on salary amendments for years together.

Well, I am sure most of our readers might be feeling strongly on this issue with arguments revolving around deeplyrooted corrupt MPs eating into crores of public earnings and revenues. When we speak about MPs, a raging picture of fighting Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members evolves in-front of our eyes, ultimately leading to waste of nations time and adjournment of proceedings. But, a point to consider is, if the salaries of public servants are as low as Rs.16000 Wont such rampant corruption and out-of-pocket demand for under-the-table briberies prevail and weaken the roots of the system from within? But, in return of an appropriate salary hike, we citizens would demand from them regular attendance in the House when in session and a loyal catering in form of public services. I know, this is too much for asking in a bid to cleanse the system, but the push needs to happen from somewhere from where it really matters the M tablet.

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Update: The government has agreed to further hike earnings for MPs by increasing their office and constituency allowances by 5.000 rupees each a month. This is in addition to the earlier increase in these allowances to 40,000 rupees from 20,000 rupees, and on top of the increase in their basic pay to 50,000 rupees, reported PTI.

Even with other business like the nuclear liability still pending, MPs have been mostly using the last two weeks of the monsoon session to argue over how much of a salary hike they should get.

Members of Parliament are demanding that their basic pay be increased fivefold to 80,001 rupees ($1,717) per month, a rupee more than the highest ranking bureaucrat, and are also asking for an increase in non-taxable benefits like travel, office and constituency spending allowances.

We have to give people thousands of cups of tea and feed them, the houses allotted to us are like hotels, we have to give constituents money for medical treatment, write letters for them and pay for their rail tickets back home, said opposition MP Lalu Prasad Yadav in parliament last Tuesday, making the case for a higher pay raise. We are on duty 24 hours.

Presently lawmakers earn 16,000 rupees, in addition to which they get a slew of government benefits, including housing.

What is our salary? We earn less than a junior clerk, said Mr. Yadav.

On Friday the government decided to increase their pay three times to 50,000 rupees per month, the PTI news agency reported. The government is also considering raising allowances substantially, NDTV has reported.

But that hasnt pleased the MPs at all.

Unhappy with the governments decision to raise the pay to 50,000 rupees instead of 80,001 rupees, Mr. Yadav and another MP, Mulayam Singh Yadav, repeatedly interrupted house proceedings on Friday.

Youre shaming us in front of the public, said Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The Cabinet this morning seemed set to increase the allowances further under pressure from the MPs although no official announcement has been made.

Some governance experts say that increased pay for government servants as a step that could reduce corruption in politics. But S.K. Agarwal of Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, doesnt see a higher salary having that affect in this case, saying that there is no will to reduce corruption on the MPs part.

Mr. Agarwal also said it didnt make sense for the MPs to compare themselves to civil servants.

MPs not only work a lesser number of days but also have no mandatory educational qualifications unlike the government officers, he said. A large number of MPs in India have criminal records. Pay raises should be based on a good performance and not when MPs continue to gather cases against them.

Legislation to hike salaries is expected to be introduced in parliament this week and is likely to move faster than most other legislation.

If you bring the bill tomorrow, within two minutes, we will clear that, Lalu Prasad Yadav said last week.

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The following are few of the reasons why the increase of salaries of our beloved MPs is justified: 1. Remuneration for Free Entertainment: They provide free entertainment to the citizens of India and the world through the state-owned TV channel Doordarshan (DD). They are directly responsible for increasing the TRP ratings of the otherwise boring Doordarshan. Since other news channels relay pictures from DD, it adds to the low revenue of DD. 2. The next best alternative: Our MPs are the next best alternative for the citizens of India to watch at prime time on their TV screens. The Indian Public have got bored of the usual Saas, Bahu & Saazish stuff, and therefore, the entertainment which the MPs provide while sitting in the Parliament has been a welcome change to the audience. Such great service by the MPs to the public to not just their constituencies, but the whole nation obviously makes them deserving for a salary hike.

Sheila Dixit in shock after the MEAGRE 300% salary hike


3. Increase in sales of few products: Our MPs have been directly responsible for increasing the sales of few particular products such as Microphones, Pens, and even Shoes. With every heated debate in Parliament, a large quantity of mics, pens and shoes are thrown, therefore giving opportunities of growth for these industries as more and more money shall be spent from Government funds on buying new mics and stationery. Obviously, our MPs shall not do such favours until and unless they get something back in return, so the salary hike once again is justified. 4. Brand Ambassadors: They are on the TV screens of each individual providing wholesome entertainment and drama. In the truest form, they are brand ambassadors of Incredible India! 5. Financing of other businesses: Our MPs are kings of multi-tasking. They do so many things other than making important policies for the country. They need the salary hikes so that they can fund their other businesses, specially in these trying times of recession.

It is a shame that our government denied a 500% increase in the salary of our MPs, and agreed upon just 300%. The Indian Public should realize that the MPs are very important people, and they do indeed deserve a 100 times more salary than what the average Indian earns. With 315 out of 543 MPs being millionaires, they are a true representation of the India Growth story. This needs to be given more mileage, and salary hikes should be more often. Also, with 150 MPs facing serious criminal cases, the salaries could be of great help to them for fighting these cases, and for hiring top notch lawyers. Such social service to the GREAT INDIAN MP should continue.

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New Delhi: Double-digit salary increases and positive hiring activity will continue in the Indian economy during the second half of the year, inspite of the uncertain global economic environment and soaring inflation, according to a survey. The survey conducted by recruitment tendering platform MyHiringClub.com said that job-seekers will have more opportunities in the second half of FY'12 compared to the first half, with 82 of the employers and recruiters surveyed anticipating an increase in hiring activity. Only 6 per cent of the respondents expected no change in recruitment activity. "Hiring remain positive even as the world is facing a crisis in the US and eurozone. These crises are going to give only short-term impact on hiring, with certain sectors only. Here, we had seen in study 82 per cent anticipating robust hiring in second half of FY'12. "Also good news for job seekers, along with new opportunities -- they are going to be benefited by a...

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You are here: Home National MPs salary hike Bill to be tabled soon

MPs salary hike Bill to be tabled soon


New Delhi, Aug 17, DHNS:

As the Lok Sabha members on Tuesday cut across the party lines to mount pressure on the government for an early pay-hike, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured the House that a Bill to amend the MPs Salaries Act 1984 would possibly be introduced in Parliament before the current session ends on August 26 next.
As Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad gave vent to almost all the MPs ire over criticism against the move to raise the parliamentarians salaries, Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha that the government would try to introduce the Bill to amend the 1984 Act during the current session itself. This has to be done through legislation. A Bill has to be brought to amend the Salaries and Allowances of Member of Parliament Act, 1954... We are trying to bring the legislation in this session, said Mukherjee. The government is fully aware of the feelings of the members of the House, he said. The Finance Minister said that the government had received the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee for the revision of the MPs salaries. He said that the governments decision would reflect the recommendation of the JPC. He also said that the government would implement the pay hike for the MPs with retrospective effect from the day of the beginning of the constitution of the 15th Lok Sabha. The Union Cabinet deferred a decision on the MPs pay hike on Monday, ostensibly due to lack of consensus. The delay irked most of the MPs irrespective of the party they belong to. House adjourned Lalu Prasad raised the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha. He was immediately joined by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and soon a large number of other MPs, including many from the Congress and BJP, too rose to support him. Only the leftist MPs did not take part in the protest. As the din continued, Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the House.

The RJD leader, however, raised the issue even after the House re-assembled at 2 pm. He slammed the Union ministers, who reportedly opposed the move during the Cabinet meeting on Monday. He said that an MPs salary was even less than that of a junior clerk. The MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary, but the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry has suggested raising it to Rs 50,000 as against Rs 80,001 recommended by the JPC on the grounds that it would be one rupee more than the pay of a secretary at Rs 80,001.

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Citizens of India: pockets are burning out due to increase in price rise or the basic necessities, which is not stoppable. Our MPs are not happy with the hike the Government has given them. What do you say?

Some interesting facts that you would like to read: Government is not able to control the rise in prices and is always stating that they do not have revenue in order to pump in the market or raw materials to control the price rise which is killing the "Aam Aadmi" pocket. Now our MPs are already rich and wealthy enough, still they are not happy with the hike of 200% - which no corporate will give to its employees in the world. There has been a walkout in the Parliament after the hike was declared. At present, a single Member of Parliament: 37 lakh a year. Some details about the hike: Basic pay has been hiked from Rs.16,000 to Rs.50,000 but still MPs are not happy. Office expenses are hiked from 20,000 to 40,0000. Constituency allowance doubled to Rs. 40,000 Limit for interest free loan for buying cars hiked 4 times to 4 lakhs Road mileage (they can claim) Rs. 16/- per km. Pension increased to Rs. 20000 per month Then MPs also have lots of reservations, like first class in railways with their family for any number of times + 1,50,000 free phone calls on 3 landlines and 2 mobile phones + Rent free housing which government pays for the furniture ranges from 15,000 to 60,0000; and many other facilities which are sometime out of reach of the "Aam Aadmi".

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Many an MP was not amused when the Union Cabinet gave its nod to a three-fold hike of their salary and doubled their perks which include constituency and office expense allowances. The reason? The revised pay of a Member of Parliament in India is way below the salary of a secretary ranked bureaucrat draws after the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission's recommendation two yeas ago. According to the new proposal approved by the cabinet, the basic salary of an MP would now go up to `50,000 per month against the existing `16,000. Also, the daily allowance of `1,000 for each day when parliament is in session or taking part in house committee meetings would now be doubled. Further, an MP will now get `40,000 each for office maintenance and constituency allowance against the current allowance of `20,000. That's not all. The cabinet has okayed the conveyance allowance to increase from `1 lakh now to `4 lakh apart from making a provision that spouses of MPs will get free train travel from their place of residence to Delhi. It's a true festive bonanza considering the fact that MPs would receive the hike with retrospective effect from May 2009, meaning that they would also get a fat arrear. It's now apparent that the government would easily sail through the process the way it wants despite a little opposition from a section of MPs other than Congress, BJP and Left mainly on the ground that babus get more than Netas. UPA trouble-shooter Pranab Mukherjee is already on the job and the Bill seeking amendments to the Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, would be passed easily by both Houses to get the hike implemented.

No one would seriously object to a raise of an MP's salary which currently stands as low as `16,000 per month. But that again leads to an uncomfortable question of how the average value of assets of Lok Sabha MPs is as high as `4.5 cr. Also, how do they manage to splurge during elections when political party's support to their candidates as recorded by Election Commission of India is not a huge sum any which way. And that explains why no one has been sympathising with our elected representatives receiving such low salary till now. Yes, even with the hike, Indian MPs' salary would be much less than that of US, Japanese, Canadian Parliamentarians just to name a few. If converted into Indian currency, the monthly salary of an US lawmaker, for example, is `6.5 lakh and a Parliamentarian in Singapore gets `4.5 lakh per month. Yet, these statistics don't really justify a huge hike for Indian MPs too, as per capita income in India is 10 to 20 times less than that of developed countries. Also, no attempts have been made by our law makers to bring in a system that tracks their own performance. No doubt, elected representatives need to seek a fresh mandate every five years, but weighing in a number of external factors such as caste, religion, money and muscle power in electoral politics, getting re-elected may not necessarily indicate performance of MPs. Already, cabinet secretariat has put in place a system of performance appraisal of various ministries and departments, and if the government has its way, a part of bureaucrats' salary could ultimately be linked to their performance. Why then Indian political leaders do not allow themselves to be scrutinised by a mechanism and get a salary in accordance with their individual performance? Should Indian tax payers be burdened with a fat package of a non-performing MP, or a chronic absentee in Parliament?
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