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MPs sore over delay in pay hike

The RJD will raise in Parliament tomorrow the issue of delay in raising salaries and allowances of MPs.



New Delhi: The RJD will raise in Parliament
tomorrow the issue of delay in raising salaries and allowances
of MPs.

Claiming the support from almost all parties, including
Congress, RJD chief Lalu Prasad today said a majority of MPs
were upset as the government deferred a decision on it in view
of lack of consensus in the Cabinet.

The proposal to raise salaries and allowances of MPs has
been put off by the Union Cabinet twice in the past.

The RJD chief said those who have opposed the Bill in
the Cabinet were `crorepatis (multi-millionaires)` who do not
realise the fate of the ordinary members of Parliament.

He said he will lead the protest on the issue in Lok
Sabha tomorrow and claimed members from almost all parties
have been approaching him to take it up as aggressively.

Another opposition member said that Lok Sabha will
witness a stormy scene on the issue, which they think is very
important.

"A large number of members are quite poor and they
have to fend for themselves. They have to take care of their
family and also their constituents," a member said.

A Union Minister said the plight of several former MPs
was very sad.

Some opposition members were angry that the proposal to
hike the salary was opposed by certain ministers in the
Cabinet.

MPs currently get Rs 16,000 per month as salary while
a secretary to the government gets Rs 80,000 a month. The
proposal is to hike the salary to Rs 50,000.

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.

Apart from these, they are also entitled to a certain
number of air journeys, AC first class train travel and rent
free flat or hostel accommodation through out the term.

Remarking on the issue Congress MP Rajeev Shukla said,
"The salary of Indian MPs is the lowest in the world. They are
being paid less than a clerk in the government... MPs are
above the secretaries and look at the difference in their
salaries."

BJP leader S S Ahluwalia said, "You must understand
problems of MPs".

Both Shukla and Ahluwalia are members of the committee
headed by Congress MP from Chhattishgarh Charandas Mahant,
which made a recommendation to fix MPs salary one rupee more
than that of a secretary at Rs 80,001.

However, the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry suggested
raising it to Rs 50,000.

-PTI

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