Ministry clarifies to RTI applicant on MPs’ pay hikehttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/ministry-clarifies-to-rti-applicant-on-mps-pay-hike/

Ministry clarifies to RTI applicant on MPs’ pay hike

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs classifies the country’s lawmakers as “urban non-manual employees” whose pay is linked to the Consumer Price Index.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) classifies the country’s lawmakers as “urban non-manual employees” whose pay is linked to the Consumer Price Index. The germ of the idea,the ministry says,came from an “expert from IIM Ahmedabad” invited to help with a study conducted by a joint committee set up to decide on salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament (MPs) in 2000.

The ministry was replying to a Right to Information (RTI) query from C P Rai,a senior citizen and a resident of Laxmi Nagar here,quoting the Lok Sabha Secretariat on why parliamentarians get their salaries and allowances revised in a “day’s time without any homework” done while Government servants have to wait for the recommendations of the

Pay Commission.

The ministry’s written response to Rai,on record before the Central Information Commission in a hearing on January 2,attempts to methodically explain that parliamentarians do not get pay hikes and perks in the wink of an eye as he believed it to be.

“Increase in the salary,allowances etc of the Members of Parliament are made after due consideration and consultation with the ministries of Finance,Law and other departments concerned and not without proper consideration as stated by you,” clarifies the ministry.

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It goes on to mention the role of the “expert from IIM,Ahmedabad” who suggested that the salary of an MP should be linked to the Consumer Price Index (a measure of the average price of consumer goods and services purchased by households) meant for Urban Non-Manual employees with the base year 1984-85.”

“As to why pay and allowances of government servants are not increased similarly,it is stated that the roles,responsibilities,functions of the MPs and the appointment and service conditions of government servants are not comparable,” says the ministry.

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah described Rai’s questions under the RTI as reflective of his “indignation” on what “he (Rai) believes to be discrimination” in favour of MPs.