MPs seek pay hike amid criticism over paying less attention to HouseParliamentarians may have been criticised for paying less attention to Parliament meetings, but they have duly paid full attention to issues related to their pay hike.
Parliamentarians may have been criticised for paying less attention to Parliament meetings, but they have duly paid full attention to issues related to their pay hike.
During Monday’s meeting of Parliament, lawmakers raised the issue of hike in their pay and perks, and demanded that an earlier recommendation to that effect be implemented immediately.
Their call for hike in pay and perks on Monday comes amid Speaker Gharti’s ruling to pay more attention to House meetings than other engagements.
On Friday, Parliament had failed to endorse three key bills related to transforming Appellate Courts into High Courts after Speaker Gharti had to adjourn the meeting for the lack of quorum. It was found that as many as 240 lawmakers had left Parliament after signing in. Only 126 lawmakers were present on the day even though the attendance register showed the signatures of 366 lawmakers. Some of them were found to be in an INGO programme while others had “other engagements” to attend.
Lawmakers addressing the meeting of Legislature-Parliament on Monday called for immediate implementation of the recommendation regarding hike in their pay and perks.
A five-member committee led by CPN-UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal in the first week of June had recommended that lawmakers’ pay and perks be increased to Rs 88,925 from the existing Rs 56,228.
The committee had recommended a hike in salary from Rs 44,180 to Rs 55,225 in line with 25 percent pay rise proposed by the government for civil servants. The committee had also recommended an increment of perks to Rs 33,700, including Rs 23,700 as house rent and Rs 5,000 as communication facility. At present, each lawmaker gets Rs 12,048, including Rs 6,500 for house rent and Rs 2,300 as communication facility, besides the salary.
Speaking at Monday’s House meeting, Nepali Congress lawmaker Bharat Bahadur Khadka demanded that the recommendation be implemented immediately. “The recommendation has been pending at the Ministry of Finance. I ask the government to immediately endorse it,” said Khadka.
“Who can find a flat for Rs 6,500?” wondered another NC lawmaker Ram Hari Khatiwada, claiming that the perks have not been increased since 1995 even though the salary has been hiked every time the government increased that of government officials.
If the pay and perks for the lawmakers is increased, an additional Rs 235 million will have to be drawn from the state coffers annually.