Dharamsala: Opposing the proposal to hike salaries of parliamentarians, BJP's Shanta Kumar on Monday said the government should instead enhance MP Local Areas Development Fund.
"In the present scenario, the salaries provided to MPs are sufficient to meet their daily needs. Instead of salaries, it is significant that 125 crore people of this country have equal rights on the exchequer of India," Kumar, who represents Himachal Pradesh's Kangra constituency in Parliament, said.
"After the country-wide criticism of subsidies given at Parliament canteen, now members will have to face the wrath (of people) over hike in salaries. Maximum members (of Parliament) are from the middle or high classes of society and adequate facilities are provided to them by the government," he told PTI over phone.
A parliamentary panel, headed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, had pitched for a 100 per cent hike in salaries, constituency allowance and office allowance of MPs along with an approximately 75 per cent raise in pension of ex-MPs apart from facilities for their "companions" in place of "spouses".
However, official sources said that the government is not willing to accept a majority of the recommendations made by the parliamentary panel.
Kumar said that the panel chairman Adityanath is a "respectable member of Parliament" and urged him to review the recommendations.
He also asked Adityanath to justify the recommendations in view of Swami Vivekananda's mantra of 'Daridra Narayana' and Gandhiji's 'Antodaya'.
Kumar, however, said the government can consider extending some facilities to MPs.
"MPLAD fund should be increased and before the start of the Monsoon Session, both the issues should be resolved by withdrawing subsidy of Parliament canteen and ending the discussions on salaries hike of parliamentarians," he said.