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PM Narendra Modi against MPs deciding their own salary

Most MPs feel their salaries and emoluments are meagre in comparison to the expenses they incur and there is a need to increase their pay.

May 03, 2016, 06.38 AM IST
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Most MPs feel their salaries and emoluments are meagre in comparison to the expenses they incur and there is a need to increase their pay.
Most MPs feel their salaries and emoluments are meagre in comparison to the expenses they incur and there is a need to increase their pay.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be the last obstacle in the path of increasing the salaries of MPs as he is said to be of the view that lawmakers themselves should not decide their pay package and decisions on such matters should either be taken by a body similar to the pay commission or that it be linked to hikes given to certain posts and ranks from time to time.

Most MPs feel their salaries and emoluments are meagre in comparison to the expenses they incur and there is a need to increase their pay.

While some MPs want that their salary should be more than that of the Cabinet Secretary, the highest ranking bureaucrat, others are of the opinion that it should simply be doubled.

A Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, headed by Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath, has given its recommendations to the Centre and the matter is now pending with the Finance Ministry. A call on the issue will be taken only after PM gives his nod on the matter, sources said.

The committee dealt with issues of not just increasing the salary of MPs but also their housing and telephone facilities, travelling and daily allowances, medical facilities, allowances for foreign trips, constituency allowances, purchase of conveyance and office expenses. The panel is empowered to make rules on these matters in consultation with the government.

While no discussion between the PMO and the Finance Ministry on the matter has taken place since the report was submitted, highly placed sources said PM has in the past stated MPs themselves should not sit in judgement over their pay.

“The Prime Minister has said in the past that the decision on increase in salary of MPs should be linked to the hike in pay of certain posts (say that of the Cabinet secretary or President and vice president). MPs should not decide their own salaries and allowances,” a senior minister said.

However, government is likely to take a call on the issue during the ongoing budget session, sources said. Though MPs are given free accommodation, air tickets, free power and even a pension after a five year term, most of them feel this is not enough as they have to shell out money from their pocket for entertaining people from their constituencies, appointing personal staff and meeting other miscellaneous expenses.

The last salary hike of MPs was done in 2010. When the matter was last discussed during the tenure of Somnath Chatterjee as Speaker of the LS, most MPs said the process should be made time bound as is done in appointment of pay panels for government staff.

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