Data

Government spends Rs. 2.7 lakh a month per MP

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‘Our work involves a lot of travel, including for various committees in Delhi’

India paid Rs.176 crore to its 543 Lok Sabha members in salaries and expenses over the last year, or just over Rs. 2.7 lakh a month per Member of Parliament (MP), new official data show.

MPs are entitled to Rs.50,000 per month as salary, Rs.45,000 as constituency allowance, Rs.15,000 as office expenses and Rs.30,000 for secretarial assistance. When Parliament is in session, they get a daily allowance of Rs.2,000. MPs are also reimbursed for 34 flight trips and unlimited rail and road travel for the year on official business.

The Lok Sabha Secretariat releases information on the amount claimed by and reimbursed every month to MPs on these expense heads.

Travel reimbursements and daily allowances account for the biggest chunk of public spending on Indian MPs, or nearly half of all expenses, at Rs 83 crore for the year, the data shows (Numbers have been approximated)



(Office exp. allowance + Staff allowance)
MP in USA MP in UK MP in India
Salary: Rs 1.04 crore Rs 57 lakh Rs 6 lakh
Daily Allowance: NA Rs 25K / Sitting day Rs 2K / Sitting day
Additional allowance: Benefits and Tax deduction Rs 70 lakh Free housing, water, medical and telecom
Office expense allowance: Rs 8 crore NA Rs 5.4 lakh
Staffing allowance: NA Rs 1.2 crore
Travelling Allowance: Based on a formula Allowances for modes of travel
  • » A portion over the fare for the highest class by air, road, steamer and rail.
  • » 34 air journeys in a year. Rail and air passes.
  • » Travel for spouse by rail and air.
  • » Airfare to capital from place of residence 8 times
Total: Rs 9 crore + Rs 3.6 cr + Rs 20.8 lakh +


MPs are also entitled to other perks, including free housing, limited free water, electricity, telephone facilities and medical treatment. This does not reflect in the expenses paid out every month by the Lok Sabha.

Travel expenses

Travel reimbursements and daily allowances, grouped together, account for the biggest chunk of public spending on MPs, or nearly half of all expenses, at Rs. 83 crore for the year, the data show. The differences in travel claims largely drive differences between MPs’ expenses.

The data shows that two MPs — the BJP’s Bishnu Pada Ray from the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the CPI(M)’s A. Sampath from Attingal, Kerala, — claimed over Rs.1 crore each between June 2014 and June 2015. Another 61 MPs claimed between Rs.50 lakh and Rs.1 crore over the year. The lowest amounts claimed were by Ministers whose expenses get covered by their respective ministries and no longer by Parliament once they become Ministers, a Lok Sabha Secretariat official explained.

“The expenses and claims of MPs are governed by an Act of Parliament. Our work involves a lot of travel, including for various committees in Delhi. I would hope that all MPs fulfil their duty to the fullest,” Mr. Sampath said. MPs who claim the most in travel expenses are not necessarily the ones doing the most travel, but are the ones who do not have corporate friends with planes they can borrow or undisclosed money to spend on travel, an MP, who was among the high claimants but did not want to be quoted, said. MPs who hire trained researchers on their staff say that the office and secretarial allowance is far too low to run a competent office and must pay their staff from their own pockets. “Apart from phone and travel reimbursement, the only expense that is paid for is Rs.30,000 per month, which is barely enough for a receptionist,” Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda, who has trained researchers on his staff, said.

MPs who hire trained researchers on their staff say that the office and secretarial allowance is far too low to run a competent office and must pay their staff from their own pockets. “Apart from phone and travel reimbursement the only expense that is paid for is Rs 30,000 per month, which is barely enough for a receptionist,” Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda who has trained researchers on his staff, said. “Compare that with our counterparts in other countries; for example US Senators and Congressmen get extremely qualified and competent staff numbering between 20 and 30 each. In recent years this gap is beginning to be filled by fellowships from organisations such as PRS and others as well as many volunteers and internships. But there's a drastic need for improvement by Parliament itself,” Mr. Panda said.

(Source: Compiled by PRS Legislative Research from India, The Salary Allowances and Pension of MPs (Amendment) Bill 2010, Ammenities for MPs, Lok Sabha secretariat, US- Ida A Brudnick 'Congressional Salaries and Allowances In Brief, Congressional research Service, December 30, 2014; UK- House of Common Library, Research Paper)

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2019 10:45:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/data/government-spends-rs-27-lakh-a-month-per-mp/article7699415.ece

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