The Delhi Assembly today approved a whopping 400 per cent hike in basic salary of MLAs and Ministers besides hefty increase in perks and allowances, catapulting them among the highest paid lawmakers in the country.
As per provision of the bill cleared by the Assembly, the basic salary of legislators will rise from current Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 and their overall monthly package will be around Rs 2.1 lakh as against Rs 88,000 at present.
The basic salary of Ministers, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Chief Whip and the Leader of Opposition will be around Rs 80,000 and their total emoluments nearly Rs 3.67 lakh as against Rs 1.2 lakh now.
The Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of NCT of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension) Amendment Bill 2015 will now be sent to the Centre for approval.
The BJP attacked the Aam Aadmi Party government for bringing the bill and demanded its immediate withdrawal, contending it will send a wrong message to the people. Two BJP MLAs staged a walkout protesting the move.
The overall hike proposed for MLAs is two-and-a-half fold, while for Ministers it would be a three-time increase.
“The bill proposes to increase the salaries, allowances and other facilities of the Members of the Legislative Assembly of Delhi so as to facilitate them to work effectively in their fields,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, presenting the bill in the assembly.
The draft bill was based on the report of a three-member committee chaired by former Secretary General of Lok Sabha PDT Achary.
“We have accepted all the recommendations of the panel,” Sisodia said.
In July, a group of AAP legislators had demanded a significant hike in salary, arguing their earnings were not enough to run their family and offices.
Apart from basic salary, the bill proposes hiking constituency allowance from current Rs 18,000 to Rs 50,000 on the ground that it was “grossly” inadequate.
The Ministers will get a monthly amount of Rs 10,000 as communication allowance to pay for their mobile bills and Rs 30,000 for phone bills at their residences and offices.
The legislation also provides for a reimbursable sum of Rs 70,000 per month recommended as allowance under ‘Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance’ head which is Rs 30,000 at present.