The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 (Act No. 30 of 1954) dated 22nd May, 1954 was enacted by the Parliament of India, with the view make provisions for the Salary, allowances and pensions of the Members of Parliament. The Act was amended many times including amendment by Act Nos. 9 of 1955, 55 of 1958, 26 of 1964, etc. and recently it was amended by Act nos. 9 of 2004, 40 of 2006 and 37of 2010. As per first section of the Act, the short title of the Act is ‘Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954’ and the same Act brought into force on 1st June, 1954.
The Section 2 of the Act deals with various important definitions including one of ‘dependants’ which includes number of persons given under the separate clauses under section. Besides this there are other terms like Member, Term of office, etc. which are defined under this provision. The Members within the meaning of this Act are include all the members of Parliament, however, the Ministers, Leaders of Oppositions and officers of Parliament as provided under the provisions of The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers Act, 1952, The Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977 and The Salaries and Allowances of Officers of Parliament Act, 1953 respectively.
The provisions as to Salaries and daily allowances of the Members are given under section 3 of the Act where it is provided that such Members entitled to the salary of rupees 50,000 per mensem. Members are entitled to such salary for the entire tenure of their office. Besides such salary, the Members are also entitled to the daily allowances of rupees 2000 during any period of residence on duty. However, the entitlement of Members as to the allowances will only serve if such Members sign the register which is maintained for the said purpose by the concerned Secretariat. The rate of salary and allowances are applied from the year 2010.
Section 3 deals with the travelling allowances paid to the Member for their journey in Indian for the purpose of attending a session of House of Parliament or for attending meetings of the Committee or otherwise. If such journey is to be performed by such Members through rail, then amount of one First class ticket and one Second class ticket and if such journey is to be performed by air, then the amount of one and one fourth air ticket and if such journey to be performed by steamer then amount of one and three fifth of the fare of the highest class thereof. In case of road journey such Member is entitled to the 16 rupees per kilometre. Even such travelling allowances are provided under section 5 of the Act, to the Member who is absent for less than 15 days during session of a House of Parliament or sitting of Committee for visiting any place in India.
The Section 6 of the Act deals with provisions of free railway pass to the Members. Every such Members to have one free railway pass of first class air conditioned or executive class of any train. Such pass will be non-transferable and can be used by the Member at any time during his or her tenure. Similar provision of the free pass is provided under section 6A where steamer journey is permissible to the Members representing the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands or Union territory of Lakshadweep. Special provisions have been provided under section 6AA of the Act, dealing with the Members having place of residence in the Ladakh area of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Such members are especially given facilities as to each single journey. Similarly, other travelling facilities are provided under subsequent provisions.
Moreover, the section 7 of the Act says that, in case of short interval between the termination of one session of House of Parliament and commencement of another or otherwise, not more than 5 days, the Member remaining at such place during such interval, is entitle to allowances for each such day.
Further, it is provided under section 8 of the Act that, the members should be paid constituency allowance, office expenses allowance and medical facilities for himself and for his family members and should also be given housing, telephone, water, electricity facilities or such amount in lieu thereof. Section 8A deals with provisions as to pension where 20,000 rupees per mensem pension is to be paid for the members who have served as such. Similarly, the ex-members are to be provided travelling facilities by any railway in India without any charges. Even such members can be paid an advance for purchasing a conveyance up to rupees four lakh, which should be repayable by such members, as per provision of section 8 B of the Act.
Section 9 is important so far as it is dealing with powers of making rules. Such rules should be make by Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament consisting of 5 members from the Council of States. Such Joint Committee should have a Chairman. There are certain matters provided under this provision on which such rules are to be framed by the Joint Committee after having consultation with the Central Government.
by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.