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Rise in salary, allowances for MPs



Special Correspondent

Measure to improve legislators' efficiency

Daily allowance Rs. 1,000

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Friday decided to substantially increase the salaries and allowances of members of Parliament. The total package is estimated to cost the exchequer Rs. 60 crores a year.

Announcing this, Union Minister and Cabinet spokesperson, Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, said while the salary has been increased from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 16,000 a month, the constituency allowance has been doubled from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 a month, pension from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 6,000 a month and daily allowance from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000.

Describing the increases as being a measure to improve the efficiency of the MPs in discharging their responsibilities, he said the salary and other facilities provided to them were fixed five years back and were due for an upward revision given the increase in prices of various commodities. "Even after the increase, an MP in India would get far less than their counterparts elsewhere. The disparity will be more if one compared the number of people an MP in India represented."

The Cabinet also agreed in principle to set up a regular mechanism to determine the salaries, allowances and pension of MPs. Mr. Dasmunsi said that in some States, legislators got more salaries than MPs.

Cable TV Bill

The Cabinet also gave its nod for introduction of a Bill to amend the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act to make it compulsory for every cable operator to show channels operated by or on behalf of Parliament and approved a revised relief package for the animal husbandry sector in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to enable farmers, who had lost their livestock in tsunami, acquire replacements.

The Union Cabinet's Committee on Economic Affairs, which also met on Friday, cleared a Rs. 698 crore special package for livestock and fisheries in 31districts identified as suicide-prone 16 districts in Andhra Pradesh, six districts each in Karnataka and Maharashtra and three districts in Kerala. The package will be implemented over three years.

Bond-SLR conversion

The CCEA gave its approval for converting the recapitalisation bonds issued to nationalised banks into tradable SLR Government of India dated securities to facilitate increased access of banks to additional resources for lending to the productive sector in the light of the increasing needs of the economy. It also decided to release up to five lakh million tonnes of maize at a price of Rs. 450 a quintal from the surplus stock held by the Government for use as poultry feed.

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