New Delhi: Realising that a cabinet secretary now gets paid more than the President of India, the Central government has decided to give the President, Vice President and Governors a raise.
The scale is whopping - more than 200%, which will lift the President's salary from the current Rs 1.5 lakh a month to Rs 5 lakh. The Vice-President's salary will increase to Rs 3.5 lakh a month from the existing Rs 1.10 lakh a month.
Once a President retires, he will get a pension of Rs 1.5 lakh. The spouses of Presidents will get a secretarial assistance of Rs 30,000 per month.
The government's decision comes after it faced an uncomfortable situation following the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission. Currently the cabinet secretary is drawing a higher salary than the President.
The matter needs Parliament's approval - which is expected in the coming winter session. Once cleared, the salary will be made applicable from January 2016.
The President's salary was raised last in 2008 from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh
But with the current raise, pressure is expected to mount on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give the go ahead for the increase in the salaries of lawmakers, which has been pending approval.
In August, around 250 lawmakers signed a petition asking for a raise, but the government is weighing its options. Sources said PM Modi was not too keen to approve in view of the government's austerity measures.
If the pay hike is approved, the monthly basic salary of a lawmaker will double to a lakh. Besides, 100% raise will be granted as constituency allowance and salaries of their office staff. The annual furniture allowance will double to 1,50,000 and monthly pensions for former lawmakers will rise from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000.