Today’s Hindu has reported that there is a proposal to increase the pay of the President of India to Rs. 5 lakh and that of the Vice-President to Rs.3.5 lakh per month. This is being proposed in view of the implementation of the increase of the pay of the Cabinet Secretary to Rs. 2.5 lakhs as per the recommendations of the VII Central Pay Commission. The tradition is that no government servant should have more pay than the President. As per another recommendation of a Committee of the Parliament, the salary of M.P.s is going to be increased from Rs. 1.4 lakh to Rs. 2.8 lakh a month.
It is to be remembered here that the minimum wage granted to the lowest paid government employee is Only Rs.18,000, even though according to the 15th Indian Labour Conference formula, the minimum wage will come to Rs. 26,000. Now granting Rs.2.5 lakhs to the Cabinet Secretary and Rs.18,000 to the lowest paid employee increases the ratio of discrimination to 1: 13.8, which is increasing after every CPC. In addition to the pay many fringe benefits, may be even more than the pay, is being availed by the top officers like Cabinet Secretary. This is also applicable to the President, Ministers and M.P.s.
It is only a few days back that the Vice-President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari spoke about the disparity between the rich and poor. It is the same with the highest paid government officer and the lowest paid. The President and Vice-President as also the Ministers and M.P.s who are the lawmakers of the country should ponder over this issue of increasing disparity. They should show to the people that they want to reduce the disparity by not accepting increases in pay etc. which will increase the disparity. Then only the people will believe in their sincerity in reducing the disparity.