MPs’ pay hike bill in this session: Pranab

August 17th, 2010 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) The government Tuesday said it would table a bill for MPs’ pay hike in the current session, after members of several parties led by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad forced an adjournment in the Lok Sabha over the issue.
“The government is ready to table the bill (for hike in MPs’ salaries) as early as possible,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the house.

Lalu Prasad earlier protested against the government decision to defer the legislation, leading to an adjournment for two hours.

He said the bill would be brought in after getting a nod from the union cabinet which Monday deferred its decision.

As soon as zero hour began at noon, Lalu Prasad raised his voice to protest the cabinet decision to defer the bill on the proposed increase in the salary of MPs.

He was soon joined by others, including Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his party members, and MPs from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Shiv Sena and the Trinamool Congress.

Some Congress MPs were also seen standing in support of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president’s demand for “a fair deal” to the law makers.

Left MPs distanced themselves from the issue as the Communist parties have been opposed to the idea of any move by parliament to decide on the salary and allowances of members. They favour an independent commission to decide on the issue.

Bharatiya Janata Party members, however, remained silent in the house even as protesting MPs were seen asking them to join them.

Speaker Meira Kumar tried to pacify the protesters before she adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

At present, MPs get Rs.16,000 per month as salary, but the parliamentary affairs ministry has suggested raising it to Rs.50,000 as against Rs.80,001 as recommended by a parliamentary panel on the grounds that it would be one rupee more than that of a secretary-level government official.

On Monday, the cabinet deferred a decision on the bill.

Besides the base salary, an MP gets a daily allowance of Rs.1,000 for each day when parliament is in session or a sitting of a house committee is scheduled.

A member is also entitled to a constituency allowance of Rs.20,000 per month and office expense allowance of another Rs.20,000 each month.

Lalu Prasad protested again when the house met at 2 p.m. And it was only after Mukherjee, the leader of the house, made the announcement and assured that the government was willing to table the bill in this session that order could be restored.

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