Parliament approves MPs’ salary hike


New Delhi : Parliament Tuesday passed a bill substantially hiking the salaries of MPs, with the government saying it would strive to evolve a permanent mechanism in consultation with members to decide on future increases in emoluments.

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Replying to a brief debate in the Rajya Sabha on The Salary, Allowances and Pensions of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill 2010, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said there was near unanimity on the need for a mechanism to decide on future increases and the government will consult members on the way forward.

Members of the Left parties staged a walkout, saying that the government had failed to fulfill its past promise to evolve a mechanism to decide hikes in salaries.

The bill, which the Lok Sabha passed Friday, raises MPs’ salaries from Rs.16,000 to Rs.50,000 and doubles the daily allowance of Rs.1,000 for each day when parliament is in session or when house committees meet.

Besides, the constituency allowance of Rs.20,000 a month and an equal monthly office expenses allowance have been raised to Rs.45,000 each.

The MPs’ conveyance allowance will now be Rs.4 lakh from Rs.1 lakh earlier.

The bill enhances the pension for former members from Rs.8,000 to Rs.20,000.

The increase will be given with retrospective effect since the beginning of the current Lok Sabha, the 15th, which means MPs will get arrears from May 2009.

Bansal said there was some criticism every time a decision to hike the salaries was taken and the government will strive to evolve a better system.

On demand of members for research hands, he said that the suggestion would be considered while taking a decision on the mechanism to decide future salary hikes.

The minister said that the office allowance had been hiked so that members could benefit form having research support.

He said that the committee that had recommended the salary hike had gone into the entire gamut of issues.

The minister said that demand of some members for making provisions for the travel of a companion will be looked into by the government.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said a permanent mechanism should be set up to decide future salary hikes.