Cabinet approves 300% salary hike, MPs still unhappy

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Bellevision Media Network

New Delhi, 20 August 2010: The cabinet on Friday approved a 300 percent salary hike from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 for MPs but this was not enough for members from various parties as they stalled Lok Sabha proceedings seeking more money. Members of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and other parties protested over the "minimal" hike and demanded that the proposed increase by the cabinet be taken back.


RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav triggered the protest, demanding that the salary of MPs be upped to Rs 80,001 - one rupee more than what a government secretary gets. "Hamara vetan waapas lo, waapas lo, waapas lo!" (Take our salary back), the protesting MPs shouted as they walked towards Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium.


Lalu Prasad alleged that the government had "insulted MPs with minimal hike". "The parliamentary panel (on the issue) had recommended Rs 80,001. This is insult. How can we sit silent over it?" Lalu Prasad asked when Meira Kumar asked him to take his seat and let question hour proceed.



The speaker repeatedly pleaded that the issue could be raised during Zero Hour but the protesters didn’t relent. Meira Kumar then adjourned the house till noon. The cabinet earlier Friday approved the salary hike for MPs, after it had put off its decision due to differences.


An MP at present gets Rs 16,000 a month as salary but the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry suggested raising it to Rs 50,000 as against the Rs 80,001 recommended by a parliamentary panel. The panel has said the MPs should get at least a rupee more than what secretaries in the government draw.


Besides the base salary, an MP also gets a daily allowance of Rs 1,000 for each day when Parliament is in session or taking part in house committee meetings. A member is also entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs 20,000 a month and an office expense allowance of Rs 20,000 each month.



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