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Budget 2018 doubles MPs’ salaries, but they’ll no longer decide on their own raises

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Each MP will now get Rs 1 lakh per month, but revision of emoluments will now be an automatic, inflation-linked process that’ll take place every five years.

New Delhi: In the Narendra Modi government’s last full Budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley has not only rolled out a pay hike for the President, Vice-President, governors, and MPs, but has also proposed to change the law governing the salaries and allowances of MPs. The proposed changes in the act will give the members an automatic raise every five years, linked to inflation.

Jaitley said: “The present practice allows the recipients to fix their own emoluments which invites criticism. I am, therefore, proposing necessary changes to refix the salary, constituency allowance, other expenses payable to Members of Parliament with effect from 1 April 2018.”

The Finance Bill 2018 proposes to double the salary of MPs to Rs 1 lakh per month. But the daily allowance, which is Rs 2,000 at present, is unchanged. The monthly pension has also been revised from Rs 20,000 per month to Rs 25,000 per month.

Further, the government proposes to completely do away with the railway allowance for MPs. The airfare allowance has also been decreased from 1.25 times the air fare to one air fare per journey.

How things worked so far

The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, governs the salaries and allowances of the members.

A Joint Committee of the two Houses of Parliament is constituted from time to time to frame rules and recommend changes in the salaries and allowances under this Act, in keeping with the changing requirements.

The last Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, headed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, had, in 2015, sought the doubling of the salary from Rs 50,000 per month, increasing the pension of ex-MPs from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000, and doubling the daily allowance of members when Parliament is in session from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000.

The present Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament, headed by Bandaru Dattatreya, is yet to submit its report.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs had also proposed a three-member independent Emoluments Commission to recommend salaries and other allowances for MPs in 2015. This was done to allay the concerns that the MPs should not decide their own salaries and allowances.

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