MPs drop plans to discuss salary hike

Facing flak over recommendations for a hefty hike in the salary and allowances of MPs, a Parliamentary panel on Monday shelved plans for discussing the issue and instead asked the Government to project its demands in right perspective.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 13, 2015, 19:00 PM IST

New Delhi: Facing flak over recommendations for a hefty hike in the salary and allowances of MPs, a Parliamentary panel on Monday shelved plans for discussing the issue and instead asked the Government to project its demands in right perspective.

The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, headed by BJP Yogi Adityanath, also decided to hold its next meeting only after the monsoon Session of Parliament amid indications that it could take back a number of its earlier proposals.

Sources said that though the agenda of the meeting was to discuss car loan for MPs, almost half the meeting was dominated by concerns raised by MPs that the issue of their hike in salary and allowances was being projected in a manner "hurting" their image.

"The case of the MPs is not being put up properly. Members expressed concern about it in the meeting," a source said adding that members felt that the government should project the demands of the MPs in right perspective.

While Parliamentary Affairs Ministry has already rejected most of the recommendations of the panel, voices of disapproval have also come from senior leaders of major parties like Congress and BJP.

The Monsoon Session, which begins on July 21 will come to an end on August 13.

Incidentally, some leaders of major parties like Ahmed

Patel (Congress) and Shanta Kumar (BJP) disapproved of the MPs' demands, members belonging to various parties in the committee were almost unanimous that their salary and allowances should go up.

Members also asked the Chairman to take up this issue with Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, sources said adding that a meeting between them is possible not before long over the issue.

It is learnt that the Chairman expressed concern over confidential details of the panel meetings and recommendations coming out in the media.

Sources said that a senior member in the panel gave a detailed note on the salary of MPs of other Commonwealth Nations saying that members of Parliament in India are getting much less in comparison to what they are getting in some other countries.

The meeting also saw reiteration of a demand for an independent mechanism to decide the salary and perks of MPs keeping in mind the benefits announced by various boards and commissions appointed for revision of wages of government employees, journalists and others.

While the government has promised to "consider in due process" the main demands of the panel including 100 per cent hike in salary, constituency allowance and office allowance of MPs and an approximately 75 per cent raise in pension of ex-MPs, it has in its action taken note on June 24 red-flagged 40 of the 65 proposals of the panel with "not accepted, no need for any change and not agreed" notings.