Government on Friday faced protests in the Lok Sabha,hours after it decided to raise salary of MPs to Rs 50,000 with several non-BJP opposition members storming the well demanding that it be raised to Rs 80,001.
Stop the insult of MPs and implement report of the parliamentary committee were slogans chanted by SP,BSP,JD(U),RJD,Shiv Sena and Akali Dal members,forcing Speaker Meira Kumar to adjourn the House twice.
First the House was adjourned till noon when members were on their feet during Question Hour claiming that government had insulted Parliament by rejecting the recommendation of its own Committee to raise the basic salary to Rs 80,001 per month,a rupee higher than the highest paid government officer.
This happened after news trickled in that the Union Cabinet,at a meeting earlier in the day,had approved a proposal to raise the basic salary of MPs to Rs 50,000 from present level of Rs 16,000.
When the House reassembled at noon,leaders of SP and RJD,Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad,led their members to the well raising slogans. Members of Shiv Sena,Akali Dal and JD(U) also joined them in the well.
Prasad and his party colleague Raghuvansh Prasad Singh were heard saying the decision of the government is an insult to Parliament. The recommendations of the parliamentary committee should be implemented.
In the din,the House approved amendments made by the Rajya Sabha to the Trade Marks (Amendment) bill by a voice vote. This was protested by the RJD leaders.
As the protests continued,the Speaker adjourned the proceedings again till 2 pm.
Apart from the hike in the basic pay from Rs 16,000 to Rs 50,000 per month,government also doubled several other emoluments for them. The government also increased office expenses of parliamentarians from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per month. The constituency allowance has also been doubled from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 per month,government sources said.
The limit for interest-free loan for MPs for buying a personal vehicle has been hiked four-fold to Rs 4 lakh from the present Rs 1 lakh.
The government has also hiked road mileage rate for vehicles used by MPs from Rs 13 per km to Rs 16 per km.
Spouse of a parliamentarian can now travel any number of times in first class or executive class,the sources said.
Pension benefits have also been increased from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 per month.