Should MPs decide their own salaries?

Should MPs decide their own salaries?: The decision to increase the salaries of Members of Parliament in India is always met by a public furore and adverse reactions in the media. The recent recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on...

Legislators' salaries

The well-researched short piece on MPs’ salaries (The Hindu, Parliament, August 11), hopefully, will open a healthy debate on the whole issue of wages and income across sectors and hierarchies in government and private sector in India. The highest paid Indian ‘employee’ who together with his spouse took home a gross annual salary of over Rs 100 crore for several consecutive years was from a small company in South India.
The RBI governor’s annual salary is a small percentage of the gross emoluments of the CEOs of some of the private sector banks. While in government, public sector and some of the private sector organisations there are transparent norms for deciding wages and career progression, these are conspicuous by their absence for majority of the wage-earners in India.
Comparisons with experiences abroad made in the article may not lead us anywhere. It is a fact that, if we factor in the ‘costs’ for becoming a member of parliament, the salary for the uncertain term during which one will remain as an MP is too low by any standard. Thus, the issue reduces to one of ‘who should be deciding MPs’ salaries?.
GOI may consider setting up a permanent body with required statutory authority to monitor the relationship between the nature of jobs and remuneration paid in Government, public sector and in private sector and make recommendations on broad bands of wages payable for different categories of jobs.
M G Warrier, Mumbai

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