NEW DELHI: After a hefty hike in salary and allowances last week, the Members of Parliament on Monday got another bonanza when the Union cabinet agreed to a further raise in their monthly allowances by Rs 10,000.
The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, decided to increase the office and constituency allowances of MPs by Rs 5,000 each per month.
The decision comes against the backdrop of lawmakers expressing unhappiness over the increase proposed by the cabinet last week.
Their unhappiness arose from the rejection of the demand that the government accept the proposal of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to hike their salaries from
Rs 16,000 to Rs 80,000. The MPs want their salary pegged at
Rs 80,001, one rupee more than the salary of a secretary in the government.
The government had pegged the MPs’ salary at Rs 50,000 per month. Besides, it had hiked the office and constituency allowances from Rs 20,000 per month each to Rs 40,000 per month each. Now, the constituency and office allowance of MPs would be Rs 45,000 each per month, government sources said.
The Lok Sabha had witnessed uproar last week by Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (United) members over government’s decision with agitated members of these parties dubbing it as an insult to Parliament. BJP, RJD, SP and JD(U) leaders had a meeting with the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday over the issue after which the government had assured them to take appropriate steps.
Mr Mukherjee moved the proposal for a hike in constituency and office allowances by Rs 5,000 each which was immediately approved by the cabinet. These allowances are exempt from government taxes.