Lawmakers set to get 58 percent pay hikeEven as lawmakers are regular in skipping crucial meetings of the Legislature-Parliament, preparations to increase their pay and perks are in the final stage.
Even as lawmakers are regular in skipping crucial meetings of the Legislature-Parliament, preparations to increase their pay and perks are in the final stage.
The Finance Ministry has given a green signal to the proposal of the Parliament Secretariat to increase their pay to Rs88,925 per month, up from the existing Rs56,228.
Amid increasing pressure from the MPs, the government had formed a five-member committee led by CPN-UML chief whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, which in the first week of June suggested an increment of 58 percent.
Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said the ministry had approved the law guiding pay rise which would now be finalised by the Law Ministry before being sent to Parliament for approval. The decision will cost the treasury an additional Rs235 million annually.
The developments come at a time when lawmakers are frequently skipping Parliament meetings despite ruling from Speaker Onasari Gharti to pay attention to the House business. The September 15 meeting of Parliament, which was scheduled to endorse three crucial bills to convert the Appellate Courts into High Courts, had to be postponed in the lack of quorum. The House meeting on Tuesday had to be postponed by an hour in the lack of minimum attendance.
Lawmakers are found to be marking their attendance before leaving the House without completing its business.
A lawmaker will receive Rs55,225 as monthly salary, up from Rs44,180, in accordance with the 25 percent pay rise announced in the national budget for government employments. The perks will also be increased by the same proportion. An MP will now draw Rs33,700 in perks including Rs23,700 for house rent and Rs5,000 for communication. At present, a lawmaker gets Rs12,048 in perks including Rs6,500 for house rent and Rs2,300 for communication.
The transportation allowance will increase sixfold to Rs1,000 from Rs150 and meeting allowance to Rs1,500 from the existing Rs200. According to lawmakers, despite timely increments in salary, perks had not been increased since 1995.