New Delhi: As several MPs in Parliament
sought an increase in their salary and allowances, the CPI(M)
today said it was not correct for legislators to decide on
their own salaries and demanded creation of a separate
mechanism for the purpose.
"We have been consistently opposed to the concept of MPs
themselves deciding on their own pay structure. That is why we
have withdrawn from the Parliamentary Committee which decides
on this matter," party leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters
Maintaining that CPI(M) has all along been demanding
creation of a separate mechanism like the Pay Commission to
decide on MPs` pay and allowances, he said "the MPs have to be
delinked from deciding their own salaries. They should not be
party to any such decision. After all, there is something
called normal political morality".
In 2006, the then Minister of State for Parliamentary
Affairs had said the government was "willing to accept this
proposal and had promised to come back to the House on the
issue. But they are yet to do so and are continuing with the
same old norm".
Observing that there were various proposals and several
international practices in this regard, he said in France four
decades ago, the parliamentarians` pays were "one Franc above
the pay of the highest paid bureaucrat". Britain, Australia
and many other countries had similar practices.
Justifying the Pay Commission suggestion, Yechury said
the parliamentarians were "the foremost servants of the
people" and their pays should be decided in accordance with
that of the government servants.
"Why can`t the MPs` salaries be linked with some such
systemic mechanism", he asked.
Yechury`s comments came on a day when several parties
protested the Union Cabinet`s decision to defer a proposal for
a hefty hike in the pay and allowances of MPs.