Government mulls pay hike for MPs, likely in next budget

New Delhi: Even as disruptions shadowed the winter session of parliament, lawmakers are looking ahead to a 100 percent salary hike which may come in the next budget, government sources said on Thursday.

A joint committee of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha has prepared a report recommending the salary of parliamentarians be hiked from the present Rs.50,000 to Rs.1 lakh, constituency allowance from Rs.45,000 to Rs.90,000 and secretarial assistance plus office allowance from Rs.45,000 to Rs.90,000.

This comes as the winter session saw the Rajya Sabha work for only 46 percent of its time, while the Lok Sabha managed to reach the 100 percent mark.

The panel, headed by BJP Lok Sabha member Yogi Adityanath, also recommended around 75 percent raise in pensions and an automatic mechanism for salary hike for parliamentarians.

Highly-placed government sources told IANS that the proposal was under consideration of the finance ministry, but any changes will only come when the next budget is tabled.

"The finance ministry is considering the recommendations, but the hike will come only with the budget," a union minister told IANS.

The report has not been tabled in parliament.

A think tank member, who was one of the witnesses in a similar committee, said it was not necessary that the report will be made public.

The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session by Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agrawal who said the salary of parliamentarians must be Re.1 more than that of the cabinet secretary.

The 7th Pay Commission recommended Rs.2.5 lakh salary for a cabinet secretary-rank officer.

The joint panel, meanwhile, has also suggested that the health benefits the lawmakers avail of via the central government health scheme should be extended to their children and grandchildren as well.

Informed sources said some parliamentarians submitted to the panel that while they were given a first class ticket to travel by train, their companions, even if it is the spouse, can travel only second class. The panel has advocated first class ticket for companions.

The panel has also suggested first class train ticket for ex-MPs and spouses.

The recommendations of any parliamentary panel are, however, not mandatory for the government.

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