Lok Sabha clears MPs salary hike Bill

     The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the much talked about Bill to hike salaries of the Members of Parliament (MPs) by over three times from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 50,000, and doubling two of their key allowances to Rs. 40,000 each. The legislation, passed by voice vote, has also raised constituency allowance of Rs. 20,000 a month and an office expense allowance of Rs. 20,000 each month to Rs. 45,000 each. According to the Bill, the conveyance allowance of the MPs would now be Rs. 4 lakh from Rs. one lakh earlier. The Bill seeking amendments to the salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, will, however, now have to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha before the hike is implemented. It also enhances pension for former members from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 20,000. The increase will be given with retrospective effect since the beginning of the 15th Lok Sabha, which means MPs will get arrears from May 2009. "There is a need for setting up a mechanism for revision of members' salary and pension. But wider discussions are required for that and it would be sent to a parliamentary committee," said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha. The Joint Committee on salaries and allowances of MPs headed by Congress member Charandas Mahant had recommended a hike in salary from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 80,001 - one rupee more than that of the Secretary to the Government of India.

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