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How much does an MP earn?
George Iype in New Delhi
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December 13, 2005

A television channel's sting operation has caught on camera 11 Members of Parliament taking bribes, ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1,10,000, to raise questions in Parliament.

The MPs 'on sale' belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Are Indian lawmakers so poorly paid that they are forced to subvert the sanctity of the country's highest democratic institution and ask for paltry amounts as bribes?

Going by their monthly salary slips, yes, Indian parliamentarians are poorly paid. Especially when you compare an MP's salary to that of an India Inc chief executive officer, or even a software engineer.

But Indian lawmakers do not live on their meagre salaries. They are entitled to a plethora of allowances and mind-boggling perks.

Bal Apte to head BJP probe into cash for questions scam

And, MPs have been raising their salaries and allowances over the years on a voice vote -- and without any protests -- in Parliament.

Since 1954, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act has been amended 26 times. The Act was last amended on January 12 last year.

The Act chalks out various rules dealing with travelling and daily allowances, housing, telephone and medical facilities, constituency allowances, journeys abroad and various conveyance and office expenses.

Did you know an MP need not bother about filing the complicated income tax returns simply because he doesn't even figure in the tax bracket radar?

Cash for question: MP suspended

And, here are some more less-known facts about the Indian lawmaker:

On paper, the salary of an MP in India is Rs 144,000 per year (about $3,200), which works out to just Rs 12,000 (about $266) per month.

But it is meagre only if you don't consider the numerous allowances and freebies an MP is entitled to. Here is a look at the allowances and perks that every MP -- India has 790 of them -- enjoys.

Each Indian MP gets:

Also see
Steer clear of malpractice: BJP to MPs

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