New Delhi: Responding to demands from members
for hike in salaries and allowances, Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee Tuesday said the government was trying to bring a bill
in this regard in this session.
"This has to be done through a legislation. A bill has to
be brought to amend the Salaries And Allowances Of Member Of
Parliament Act, 1954... We are trying bring the legislation in
this session," Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha.
His assurance came after members created uproar over the
Union Cabinet`s deferment of a decision on a proposal to
increase the salaries of MPs three-fold from Rs 16,000 per
"We are fully aware of the sensitivities of the issue,"
The Finance Minister said the legislation would "truly
reflect" the suggestions made by the Joint Parliamentary
Committee in this regard.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has spearheaded the demand,
asked Mukherjee not to beat about the bush but give concrete
"We are ready. Bring the Bill tomorrow, we will pass it
in two minutes," he said, leaving Mukherjee smiling.
Speaker silent on salary hike issue
However, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar
preferred to remain neutral on the question of salary
hike for MPs.
"At the moment, you saw a turmoil in the House and
their (MPs`) different opinions. When different opinions are
there in the House, for a Speaker, who is supposed to be
neutral, to express her opinion will not be proper," she told
reporters outside Parliament House.
To a question on setting up a separate salary
commission for MPs to decide on their pay package, Kumar said
she will have to go through the issue.
Yesterday the Union Cabinet deferred a decision on
the proposed increase.
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 a Parliamentary
Committee on the grounds that it would be one rupee more than
that of a secretary at Rs 80,001.
Besides the base salary, an MP gets a daily allowance
of Rs 1,000 for each day when Parliament is in session or a
sitting of a House committee is scheduled. A member is also
entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 per month
and office expense allowance of another Rs 20,000 each month.