Arun Jaitley's Budget Gives MPs A Salary Hike, Automatic Raise Every 5 Years

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the present practice allows members of parliament to fix their own emoluments which invites criticism. Now, the lawmakers will change the law just once, this time to give themselves quicker pay hikes.

Arun Jaitley's Budget Gives MPs A Salary Hike, Automatic Raise Every 5 Years

In Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced pay hikes for President, Vice President and MPs

NEW DELHI:  In his last full-year budget presented to parliament before the 2019 General elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has not only rolled out pay hikes for President, Vice President and members of parliament but also sought to change the law to give lawmakers an automatic hike. This amendment would ensure that the lawmakers would not have to come back to parliament for a salary hike again.

"The law will provide automatic adjustment of emoluments every five years based on inflation," Mr Jaitley said as he presented the Budget 2018 proposals in the Lok Sabha.

Mr Jaitley's decision to include a salary hike for President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Governors and Members of Parliament is unusual because their salaries and allowances are governed by different laws.

The revised emoluments for the President would go up from 1.5 lakhs to 5 lakhs, for the Vice President from 1.25 lakhs to 4 lakhs and for governors, from 1.1 lakhs to 3.5 lakhs. The hike would address the anomaly that has existed after bureaucrats got their hikes: President Ram Nath Kovind has a lower take home salary than his key aides.

"There has been considerable public debate with regard to emoluments paid to Members of Parliament. The present practice allows the recipients to fix their own emoluments which invites criticism. I am, therefore, proposing necessary changes to refix the salary, constituency allowance, other expenses payable to Members of Parliament with effect from April 1, 2018," Mr Jaitley said.

Mr Jaitley did not specify the extent of the hike that lawmakers - members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha - would get. But changing the law to index their salaries to the price index is a huge concession.

Lawmakers have been demanding for years that an independent body should be set up, quite like the pay commission for bureaucrats, which gives them a hike.

Apart from other allowances and perks, Members of Parliament are paid a monthly salary of Rs 50,000, almost half of what the President gets.

In 1951, India's first President's salary was ten times the salary of lawmakers and ministers. But over the year, this difference has narrowed down

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