The central government on Friday cleared a proposal to substantially increase the salaries and allowances of members of Parliament.
Salaries of the MPs will rise from Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 per month as per the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of MPs.
A meeting of the Union Cabinet gave its nod to several recommendations, including amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of MPs Act, 1954, on the lines of a draft bill and introduced a bill in Parliament in the ongoing Monsoon Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi said.
He said the finance ministry did not accept many of the recommendations of the committee.
The total burden of the hike would cost the exchequer about Rs 60 crore, he said.
The government has agreed to double the constituency allowance from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000, while the committee had recommended that this be increased to Rs 31,000. Similarly, pension would be fixed at Rs 6,000 as against Rs 8,000 recommended by the committee.
While Dasmunsi did not give further details, it is believed that daily allowance of MPs would double from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000.
The proposals included providing two mobile phones, raising the number of free local calls and hiking the office expense allowance of MPs from Rs 14,000 to Rs 23,000. It has also been proposed to increase postage allowance from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 and a substantial increase in travel allowance.
It is also proposed to increase the number of single air journeys from 32 to 34.
Dasmunsi said a proposal to establish a regular mechanism or determination of MPs' salaries and allowances was agreed in principle.
He said the last hike in salaries and perks of Members of Parliament was effected in 2001 by the NDA government for a period of five years till September 14.
"If we did not take a decision before this date, the salary would have gone down to Rs 4,000 prevailing before 2001," Dasmunsi said.
Asked about the need for such a revision when the government was talking about austerity measures, he said.
The MPs in India received much less salaries than their counterparts abroad. "Even the legislators of some states get more than the MPs," he said.