Editors Pick

Pay-hike for Parliamentarians for no work?

Subhash Chandra Agrawal
26 Dec 2015 5:57 AM GMT
Pay-hike for Parliamentarians for no work?
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It refers to media-reports indicating about proposal for an hefty hike in pay/perks/allowances etc of our Parliamentarians at a time when Indian Parliament has achieved notoriety for large-scale disruptions holding important legislative work to a ransom even to the extent that much-needed amendment to Juvenile Act could not be timely legislated and dreaded ‘juvenile’ rapist-cum-murderer of infamous 16/12 episode was freed against wishes of whole of the country. Even Vice President Hamid Mohammed Ansari rightly suggested at Business Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha for auto-expulsion of disruptive members in the Parliament. It is often seen that Parliamentarians usually leave respective Houses after initial two hours. Same is observed at meetings of Parliamentary committees. System of bio-metric attendance should be adopted so that Parliamentarians attending sessions or meetings of Parliamentary committees may not endorse attendance just to get allowances.

Several Rajya Sabha members during zero-hour on 02.12.2015 very rightly demanded that salary of Parliamentarians should be one rupee more than that of country’s highest paid bureaucrat Union Cabinet Secretary. But this principle should also be for other allowances, perks, pensions and other privileges available presently to Parliamentarians which in fact cost much-much more to the nation than salaries paid to the Parliamentarians. Attending Parliamentary-sessions and meetings of Parliamentary committees is part of duties and responsibilities of Parliamentarians, and as such no extra allowances should be payable to Parliamentarians for the purpose. Since pension to government-employees has been abolished for recruitments made since the year 2004, there is no logic for continuing with system of pension for law-makers. Instead of Parliamentarians deciding their own pay, perks, facilities, pensions etc, Pay-commission’s recommendations for country’s highest paid bureaucrat should be applicable for Parliamentarians. It was shocking to note that as many as 169 types of privileges including like hair-cutting allowance, shoe-polish allowance etc are available for central government employees. A scrutiny of all payable allowances should be made to retain minimum possible category of allowances (excluding like of hair-cutting allowance, shoe-polish allowance etc) at time of implementation of recommendations of Seventh Pay Commission.

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