How do you see a job proposition with the prospects of a salary hike not more than once In a decade? Possibly, your heart will go out for such under-paid employees, isn’t it?
But, what if I say that some of these people are none other than our own corrupted MPs of India? I am sure, you are infuriating with anger by now. How about some reality check though?…
The government plans to move a bill to hike the salaries of 795 Members of Parliament (MPs) very soon. Well, no points for guessing that this is one such bill that will not meet any kind of resistance from the opposition parties. In fact, not surprisingly, there is an all-party consensus demanding that lawmakers be given a salary on par with secretaries to the government of India at Rs. 80,000 per month.
Reportedly, MPs have proposed a five-fold increase in salary from Rs. 16,000 per month to Rs. 60,000. Well, who knows – they might just land up with little more than double of their prevailing salary structure.
However, the MPs have confronted saying that as per the warrant of precedence (or the list of protocol) – wherein MPs are enlisted at a higher 21st rank as against 23rd for secretaries – they are equivalent to secretary-level officers (in fact, even above them), justifying their demand for an equivalent salary hike.
My question to readers is – Isn’t such ridiculously low salary levels for the MPs one of the prime factors responsible for the rampant corruption? Inadvertently, such low salary structures will act as a root cause for the spread of under-the-table payment practices.
Well, its not that the salary structure of these MPs are limited to the basic salary of Rs.16,000 only as mentioned above. They are also entitled to constituency allowance of Rs.20,000 per month, apart from an equal amount for office expenses allowance as well. An MP also gets a daily allowance of Rs.1000 for each day when Parliament is in session.
Well, what surprises me is how can some of the allowances mentioned above, be more than the base salary of Rs.16000 for the Members of Parliament? This brings me to conclusion that either their basic salary is under-stated or their allowances and perks are over-stated.
Definitely, going by the costs related to security, troupes, tours and most of all ever rising cost of living and the wage index for skilled urban labour – it’s the basic salary structure that seems to be screwed rather than the allowance and the perk categories.
In my opinion, the government should really call for an annual appraisal policy system, mostly linked with the issuance of report card based on performance – rather than a status quo policy on salary amendments for years together.
Well, I am sure most of our readers might be feeling strongly on this issue – with arguments revolving around deeply-rooted corrupt MPs eating into crores of public earnings and revenues. When we speak about MPs, a raging picture of fighting Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members evolves in-front of our eyes, ultimately leading to waste of nation’s time and adjournment of proceedings.
But, a point to consider is, if the salaries of public servants are as low as Rs.16000 – Won’t such rampant corruption and out-of-pocket demand for under-the-table briberies prevail and weaken the roots of the system from within?
But, in return of an appropriate salary hike, we citizens would demand from them regular attendance in the House when in session and a loyal catering in form of public services. I know, this is too much for asking in a bid to cleanse the system, but the push needs to happen from somewhere – from where it really matters – the ’M’ tablet.
Thoughts Invited !