An Analysis of the Arguments for the 2010 Salary Increase for Indian Members of Parliament

Berenike Schott


In 2010, the Indian Members of Parliament increased their salaries threefold, invoking a controversial debate over the justification for the unprecedented hike. The Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament had proposed the increase based on the notion that MPs should earn more than the highest paid regular full-time civil servant whose salary had shortly before been increased – one symbolic rupee more. Yet, the reason why MPs should earn more was not made explicit in the debate. As the salary increase was not well received by the public, it is critical to dissect the argument and work out the possible Warrant structures supporting it. On that basis, the debate can move from unsupported Claims to more profound discussions about diverging visions for the role of MPs and principles guiding Indian society. This analysis is aimed at initiating such a needed turn in debate by reconstructing and evaluating the main arguments put forward for increasing the salary, namely that MPs should be compensated for the time-intensiveness of their work and that their salary should display their higher institutional status as compared to public secretaries.

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