Proposal for wage commission for MPs not rejected: Ravi

April 7th, 2008 - 8:21 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) The government has not dropped the “good idea” mooted by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on setting up a wage commission for parliament members, said Vayalar Ravi, who took charge as parliamentary affairs minister Monday. “The government has only decided to keep it pending for the next Lok Sabha. It is not rejected. The idea is good,” Ravi told reporters after taking over his new office in the parliament building. Ravi, who is Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, has been given additional charge of parliamentary affairs.

Ravi’s statement comes a few days after Chatterjee expressed his unhappiness over a cabinet decision to put off setting up a permanent mechanism for determining the salaries and allowances of MPs. The speaker had suggested the idea three years back and was then supported by all political parties.

Ravi explained that the government welcomed the idea but the decision was postponed as it felt that the current Lok Sabha would not be able to implement it.

The speaker had gone public with his displeasure over the government’s decision to put off the wage mechanism. “India was the only democracy in the world where MPs decide their own salaries,” Chatterjee said.

At present, the Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, determines the MPs’ wages and perks. The government brings an amendment bill in parliament whenever it proposes to hike their salaries. The last hike was done in 2006.

Ravi, who was visibly happy over his additional portfolio, said he would make “all efforts” to take all the parties together for the smooth functioning of parliament.

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