MPs seek further pay rise

JS body returns bill

A parliamentary body yesterday sent back a bill to the Cabinet Division, saying the lawmakers' remuneration and allowances should be increased further so that their pay is higher than the bureaucrats'.

The parliamentary standing committee on the law ministry made the recommendation at a meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.

It, however, finalised four bills aimed at doubling the remuneration and privileges for the president, prime minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker, ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers.

Earlier this week, besides placing those four bills, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, who is in charge of the cabinet division on parliamentary affairs, placed the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill-2016 in parliament, proposing almost doubling the remuneration and privileges for the MPs.

But two lawmakers -- Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Ziaul Haq Mridha of the ruling Awami League -- opposed the bill, saying the MPs' salary was not increased compared to that of the bureaucrats, although “their position is higher than the civil servants' in the Warrant of Precedence”. 

“A bureaucrat now draws around Tk 86,000 monthly while an MP gets around Tk 55,000, which is discriminatory,” said Suranjit Sengupta, chief of the parliamentary body on law, at a briefing at the parliament media centre.

“Some people argue that MPs do not get salaries, they get remuneration. If that is the logic, then the president and PM also get remuneration,” said Suranjit, also a senior AL lawmaker.

“As the president holds the top position, he gets the highest salary. Under this consideration, MPs' salary should be higher than bureaucrats' as lawmakers' position is superior to theirs,” added Suranjit.

He also mentioned that no other allowances for MPs were raised.

“The committee, therefore, has returned the bill to the authorities concerned to fix these discrepancies,” Suranjit said.