The government appears to have achieved a compromise with the Opposition parties on the issue of increasing the salary and allowances of members of Parliament. Top sources told The Hindu that while the government had rejected the demand to increase the salary from the current Rs. 16,000 to the Rs. 80,001 recommended by a Parliamentary Committee, it was willing to add another Rs. 10,000 to the allowances that MPs get.
The formula arrived at, the sources said, was that the current salary would be increased to Rs. 50,000 – as recommended by the Union Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, and which was earlier rejected by the Opposition parties as being a dilution of the parliamentary committee's recommendations — but that the constituency allowance which was being upped from Rs. 20,000 a month to Rs. 40,000 a month could now be pegged at Rs. 50,000 – an increase of Rs. 10,000 over what the government had proposed.
Alternatively, the constituency allowance will be hiked by Rs. 5,000 and the secretarial allowance by Rs. 5,000, adding up to Rs. 10,000 a month.
This emerged after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh — the two leaders at the forefront of the agitation — on Saturday morning.