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Bill hiking MPs' pay, pension, allowance introduced in Rajya Sabha

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) The government today introduced in the Rajya Sabha a Bill that seeks to raise the MPs' salary from Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 a month and double pension to Rs 6,000, daily allowance to Rs 1,000 and family pension to Rs 3,000.

'The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2006' has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. It seeks to introduce with prospective effect a life-long family pension of Rs 3,000 a month to the spouse or dependent of deceased former MPs. The proposed hike would be for five years from September 14, 2006.

Introducing the bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi justified the hike saying that MPs in India were less paid than those in UK, Singapore, Malaysia and even Sri Lanka. He said that the hike was necessary in view of the inbuilt infrastructure requirements and social commitments of the Members to serve the people.

He said that in the absence of a revision, the salaries of MPs would stand reduced to Rs 4,000, the level prevailed before the previous revision five years ago as the then hike was to be effective till September 13 this year.

Criticising media for projecting that ''MPs are looting and robbing people'', he said that most of the MPs lived a very hard life and the condition of former MPs of Parliament left much to be desired.

''The media finds any item of the legislators as juicy. I do not dispute the right of the media to project what they deem fit. But I would urge them to go into the harsh realities and penury in which many legislators live,'' Mr Dasmunsi said.

The hike has been carried out on the basis of recommendations of the Joint Committee comprising all parties. The Bill seeks to raise from Rs eight a km to Rs 13 a km the rate of road mileage for MPs for travel to attend Parliament session or meetings of its committees.

Physically incapacitated MPs who cannot travel by air and rail would be allowed to travel by road. Air journeys to MPs are being sought to be raised from 32 single journeys to 34 single journeys a year.

At present, Rs 1,500 a month is paid for five years as family pension to the spouse or dependent of MPs dying during his term of office. This is being raised to Rs 3,000 a month and the pension would be paid for life, instead of restricting it to five years.

No family pension is paid now to the spouse or dependent of a deceased former MP. The Bill seeks to introduce life-long pension to such persons at the rate of Rs 3,000 a month.

UNI AJ VD GC1905

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