New Delhi: Rajya Sabha members on Friday once again raised the demand for increasing their salaries and questioned the government's silence on the suggestions of a committee that has recommended salary hike for the members of parliament.
On several occasions, the MPs have said that their salary should be more than that of the Cabinet Secretary.
"MPs' salary is lowest of all. Our salary is lesser than MLAs of Delhi government, half of what a Maharashtra MLA gets, and a third of that of Telangana MLAs," Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said.
"We are asked to reduce expenditure. Should we turn people away? We are spending from our own pockets. I fail to understand— we were directly or indirectly told there will be some announcement by the last day of session," he said.
"Increase our salary and make it more than Cabinet Secretary's," Yadav added.
Congress leader Anand Sharma supported the Samajwadi Party leader.
"The government is quiet on the recommendations. Either we accept that we are not people's representatives, we need to be capitalist, feudal lords, or businessmen. If we are people's representatives, there should not be this hypocrisy that the salary of MPs is not raised but other people get hike," he said.
Several other members also supported the demand.
The salary of the Cabinet Secretary is Rs 2,50,000 a month as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission.
A joint committee of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has prepared a report recommending MPs' salary to be hiked from the present Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, constituency allowance from Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000 and secretarial assistance plus office allowance from Rs 45,000 to Rs 90,000.
The recommendations have not been made public.
The panel, headed by BJP leader Yogi Adityanath, also recommended around 75 per cent raise in pensions and an automatic mechanism for salary hike for MPs.
A delegation of MPs had met Prime Minister Narenda Modi on Monday to request a pay hike and an increase in the MP's allowance to develop their constituencies.