Benefits apart, orderly and free phone for life

A monthly salary of Rs 30,000, free accommodation, Rs 2 lakh to furnish the house, car with 200 litres of petrol every month and free medical facilities for the entire family. Sounds like a cushy job? There's more. When you retire, you get a pension, free telephone at home, Rs 4,000 a month for hired help.

These are the perks if you work as an Information Commissioner or are chief of the Central Information Commission (CIC) - the final appellate authority for Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005. CIC has given itself enviable sops. The terms and conditions of service for the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners have been notified by the CIC and are at par with Supreme Court judges and the Chief Election Commissioner of India.

CIC, which has only retired bureaucrats as Information Commissioners, has made the assignment very lucrative. Under the terms, the Information Commissioner can hold the office for five years or till he attains the age of 65 years. During his tenure he can draw not only a fixed salary of Rs 30,000 per month but also a Government pension from his previous assignment. In case he is a retired Government servant drawing a pension, this amount would be deducted from the salary of Rs 30,000.

According to the notification issued by Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, the commissioners would be entitled to an additional sumptuary allowance of Rs 7,500 per month. The perks of the job do not end here. Like any other Government job, the commissioners can avail of a free official residence. They are entitled to free furnishings (including electrical appliances) up to Rs 2 lakh.

The post-retirement benefits take the cake. The information commissioners would be entitled to two pensions, not exceeding Rs 2.40 lakh per annum, if they are retired bureaucrats. Apart from the financial perks there would be other extra add-ons after retirement. As in the case of Supreme Court judges and election commissioners, information commissioners would also be entitled to a payment of Rs 4,000 per month for keeping an orderly at home. After they retire, the residential telephone would be free of cost. As per the rules, apart from the free telephone calls allowed by the phone company, the commissioners would get 1,500 free calls per month.

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