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Narendra Modi: Maximum PM with minimum payment, even less than an AAP Delhi MLA
A Delhi lawmaker is no longer an `Aam Aadmi', as he/she would now be paid more than the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee.

Interesting as it may sound, but PM Narendra Modi ranks at number 12 among the top most paid world leaders, followed closely by President of India Pranab Mukherjee, who features at number 13.

Topping the list of the world's highest paid political leaders is the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who's yearly salary if converted into Indian currency is Rs 19.22 crore followed by the US President Obama, who's yearly salary is Rs 2.33 crore.

PM Modi's salary is Rs 1.60 lakh per month (19.20 lakh per year) and President Pranab Mukherjee's salary is Rs 1.5 lakh per month (18 lakh per yer), while now a Delhi lawmaker would be paid Rs 2.35 lakh per month.

It is also notable that PM Narendra Modi takes home just a part of his assigned salary and a major chunk of his monthly income is donated towards charity. This is a practice which Narendra Modi has been following from the time since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. As a parting gift, when he left the post of the CM of Gujarat to become the PM, he donated Rs 21 lakh from his personal savings to create a corpus fund for the education of the daughters of peons and drivers of the Gujarat government.

In the month of May this year, PM Modi donated his one month's salary to the PM's Relief Fund for the Nepal earthquake. He is truly the most cost-effective Indian PM ever, considering that he works for almost 18 hours a day and hardly requires any money to survive. His monthly take home is much lesser in comparison to his predecessors.

On Thursday Delhi MLAs approved a 400% hike in their salary, based on the recommendations of an independent committee that had proposed revising the monthly salaries paid to MLAs from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2.35 lakh.

Expectedly the bill was introduced and passed on Thursday without any hurdles as the ruling AAP government has absolute majority with 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly. The three BJP MLAs abstained from voting, but even if they had voted against the bill, it would have been inconsequential.

Leader of the opposition Vijender Gupta said, "We will abstain from voting for this bill because we do not think this is the right time for it. Even if you have to introduce it, the increment needs to be lowered."

The independent committee which proposed these recommendations was constituted under former secretary general of Lok Sabha, PDT Achari on August 21, after AAP MLAs had complained that they were finding it difficult to survive on the remuneration they were being paid.

Ever since this news broke, the social media has been abuzz with hate comments against the Aam Aadmi Party government. What is even more shocking is that the party itself had issued a statement that the government was running low on funds. If that is the case, why should a so called `Aam Aadmi' lawmaker be allowed to siphon off the funds meant for Delhi's development into his own bank account?

The basic salary of a Delhi MLA which was Rs 12,000 per month would now be Rs 50,000, while a minister would now be paid Rs 80,000 per month instead of Rs 20,000. There has also been a major change in allowances, which shall be hiked by 10 percent each year.

It would also be worthwhile to note the most significant perks that Delhi MLAs have gifted themselves, which include allowance for the constituency Rs 70,000, Rs 1 lakh one-time payment for office furnishing and Rs 1 lakh for buying computers.

The best part of the new perks is the inclusion of Rs 3 lakh as the annual payout towards foreign trips and travel, for the family members and dependents of the MLAs, and I was under the impression that `Aam Aadmi's' never traveled abroad or at least spared a thought before becoming overindulgent spendthrifts! Maybe the Delhi CM Mr Kejriwal is contemplating rechristening the name of his party from Aam Aadmi Party to Khaas Aadmi Party.

Meanwhile most Delhi MLAs have spoken out in favour of the bill by saying that it will discourage corruption. Delhi AAP MLA Sanjeev Jha said, "Our salaries finish in the first 10 days of the month. We have now added responsibilities of running a constituency office, paying staff and meeting social obligations. I have to maintain a vehicle for official work and the salary we are getting at present is just about sufficient to meet the expenses."

The bill for Delhi MLAs salary hike will now be sent to the Home Ministry and the President for final approval, and if it gets clearance Delhi MLAs are sure to have a happy new year.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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