Government gives a Rs39-cr boost to MPs' allowances

The central government has announced a hike in the various allowances of Members of Parliament, involving an additional expenditure of Rs6.64 crore during the current year and Rs39.23 crore (Rs39,22,72,800) in recurring annual expenditure.

The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved amendments to the rules related to housing and telephone allowance, constituency allowance and office expense allowances.

Accordingly, the monetary ceiling on furniture at the residence of Members of Parliament has been raised from Rs75,000 (Rs60,000 for durables and Rs15,000 for non-­durables) to Rs1,00,000 (Rs80,000 for durables and Rs20,000 for non­-durablse) with effect from 1 April 2018. This will be further increased every five years commencing 1 April 2023 on the basis of Cost Inflation Index provided in the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Broadband internet facility may be provided to Members of Parliament as part of housing besides telephone facilities of 10,000 surrendered call units per annum on land line connection that are provided from August 2006.

The facility of broadband internet to MPs is already in vogue since August 2006 and it will now be incorporated in 'the Housing and Telephone Facilities (Members of Parliament) Rules, 1956' for its regularisation through its amendment with retrospective effect by inserting a new rule.

Wi-fi zone with monthly tariff plan of Rs1,700 from 1 September 2015 to 31 December 2016 and Rs2,200 from 1 January 2017 onwards may be created in the MPs' residential areas for providing high speed internet connection (FTTH connection). This facility will be in addition to the existing broadband facility.

It has been decided to increase Constituency Allowance for MPs from Rs45,000 per month to Rs70,000 per month with effect from 1 April 2018, which will be further increased after every five years commencing 1 April 2023, on the basis of Cost Inflation Index.

MPs will get a hike in office expense allowance from Rs45,000 per month (Rs15,000 for stationary items and postage and Rs30,000 for a computer literate person engaged by an MP for obtaining secretarial assistance) to Rs60,000 per month (Rs20,000 for expenses on stationary items and postage plus Rs40,000 for a computer literate person engaged by an MP for obtaining secretarial assistance) with effect from 1 April 2018.

This will be increased every five years commencing 1 April 2023 on the basis of Cost Inflation Index.

The cabinet will convey its decision to the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament for making amendments in the relevant rules, which shall be approved and confirmed by the Chairman of the Council of States and the Speaker of House of the People and later published in the official gazette.

Additional financial implication on account of the decision taken by the cabinet would be Rs39,22,72,800 approximately of recurring expenditure and Rs 6,64,05,400 approximately of non-recurring expenditure, a government re;lease stated.

The Joint Committee has the powers to make rules after consultation with the Central Government to provide for all or any of the matters enumerated in the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act (MSA Act).