Faridabad (Haryana) [India], Dec. 18 : Disagreeing with Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Panda, who claimed to have returned his salary and daily allowance due to disruptions in the lower house, former secretary general of the Lok Sabha PDT Acharya on Sunday said it is unrealistic to say that part of the salary will be returned on a pro rata basis, because speaking in the House is not the only part of MPs' job, as even when there is disruption, Parliamentary Committees do function regularly and all these members attend the Committee meetings and work there.
"An MP, the moment he is elected is entitled to his salary. Speaking in the House is not the only part of his job. There are Parliamentary Committees and all the Members of Parliament are members of one committee or the other.
Even when there is disruption of the Houses, Committees do function regularly and all these members attend the Committee meetings and they work there," Acharya told ANI.
He said MPs are public men, and they deal with public issues and it is also a part of their duty to bring these issues to the notice of the government.
"So, speaking in the House is not all; there are many other things that MPs are suppose to do. How will you evaluate that? So, to say that part of the salary will be returned on a pro rata basis is unrealistic.
It is born out of the misconception about the duties of MPs," he said. Stating that the whole assumption that since MPs are not speaking in the House or House is getting disrupted, so MPs should not get the full salary is not right, he said, "Constitution Article 106 provides for salary and allowances for MPs, but that is not related to the quantum of work they do or the number of speeches they make in the House." Responding to Panda's statement, he said he doesn't know why he said so because so far as MP salaries and allowances are concerned it is not related to the quantum of work.
"There were time when MPs were getting less salary and they were working day and night. At that time they were getting only Rs 500.What will you say about that? Even when there was no disruption, there were many members in the Houses who did not speak at all; you cannot say that they should not be paid any salary because they were active in other committees and were doing public service," Acharya added.
Earlier in the day, Panda created a flutter in political circles when he revealed that he has been, for several years now, returning his salary and daily allowance in the same proportion as the time that has been lost in the Lok Sabha due to disruptions.