Several members in a parliamentary panel have pitched for quick implementation of the Centre’s proposed move to double salary and allowances of MPs and insisted that report of any government-constituted committee on the matter must be channelled through it.At a meeting of the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament on Wednesday, a number of MPs favoured routing of report of any independent mechanism, being set up to review salary and allowances of MPs, through the panel, which draws its power from Parliament, sources said. They said before the report is handed over to the government it should be vetted by the committee.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The members also insisted their pay and perks should be equal to that of the Cabinet Secretary, they said.The Centre had in September last proposed to constitute a three-member Emoluments Commission to determine salary and allowances of Members of Parliament and it was endorsed at the two-day All India Whips Conference on September 29 and 30.The proposal had come in the backdrop of a controversy over a parliamentary panel’s recommendations in June last to double the pay and perks of lawmakers. The Joint Committee, headed by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, in its meetings in May and July last year had opined that there was need for an independent system/mechanism for review of salary and allowances of MPs.The committee suggested that while considering enhancement of salary, parameters like inflation and hike in the salary of government officials should be taken into consideration. The panel also asked the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry to place before it the proposal.The Ministry representatives yesterday told the panel that a cabinet note has been prepared for doubling salary and allowances of MPs. To this, the panel members asked them to place the note before the Union Cabinet soon for its early approval so the proposals become a reality in this Union Budget. The Budget session of Parliament begins on February 23 and the Union Budget will be presented on February 29.An MP gets a salary of Rs 50,000 per month. In addition, Rs 2,000 per day is paid as daily allowance when an MP signs the register while attending Parliament sessions or House committee meetings. An MP is also entitled to Rs 45,000 constituency allowance every month — Rs 15,000 for stationery and Rs 30,000 to employ secretarial assistance staff.In their sitting on October 20 last year, the committee decided to enhance the amount of Constituency Allowance from the present Rs 45,000 to Rs 75,000, which required an amendment in rules.MPs are also entitled for government accommodation, air travel and train travel facilities, besides three landline telephone connections and two mobile phones. They also get a loan of Rs 4 lakh to buy a vehicle.
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