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Good News on MPs' Pay, Perks

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Here is at least one indication that strong public opposition to an unethical practice can lead to rethinking even among lawmakers. Making a break with pernicious precedents that resisted change, the rendra Modi government plans to set up an “independent” commission to recommend salaries and allowances of MPs instead of MPs themselves deciding what their pay, allowances and perquisites ought to be. The proposed commission will also decide whether MPs who disrupt proceedings in Parliament should be docked a part of their pay. This is good news for the tion that has long been opposed to the idea of our lawmakers deciding on their own pay, allowances and perquisites instead of letting some other organization or commission do this. In fact, the MPs are the only group that is in a position to usurp the privilege of deciding what their own emoluments should be. The salaries, allowances and perquisites they gave themselves increased sharply year after year until they eventually went through the roof. Yet another revision of salaries, allowances and perquisites was on the cards when the rendra Modi government thought of a more ethical way of doing things. In July this year, a joint parliamentary panel had recommended the doubling of salaries of MPs from the Rs 50,000 they now get, raising their constituency allowance from Rs 45,000 to Rs 80,000 and their pension from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000. They were also planning to increase the salaries of their persol staff from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. Mercifully, the Centre turned down the recommendations mainly due to the backlash that had also to do with the highly subsidized meals that MPs get at the Parliament canteen. The proposed commission for recommending emoluments and perquisites for MPs must not only come into being but become a permanent panel.

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