The Delhi Assembly on Monday unanimously passed five bills increasing the salaries and allowances of MLAs, ministers, speaker and deputy speaker, chief whip and leader of opposition. Moderated by Law and Justice Minister Kailash Gahlot, the passage of the bills was unopposed and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party also lent its support. Now the bills will be sent to the President for his assent. Speaking in the House, Gehlot said that it was a long and difficult struggle to get the necessary approvals from the central government.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel pointed out that between 1993 and 2011, the salaries and allowances of Delhi MLAs were increased effectively five times, once every three and a half years, and the current increase comes after a gap of 11 years.
At present, Delhi MLAs are entitled to Rs 54,000 per month, which includes Rs 30,000 salary and allowances including: constituency allowance of Rs 18,000, secretarial allowance of Rs 10,000, conveyance of Rs 6000 per month, telephone of Rs 8000 per month allowance. An allowance of Rs.1,000 subject to a maximum of 40 days. At present, MLAs are also allowed an advance of Rs 4,00,000 for a vehicle. A Delhi MLA is currently entitled to a pension of Rs 7,500 per month for the first term and an additional Rs 1,000 for the subsequent term.
The current bills passed by the House propose to increase the salary of MLAs from Rs 12,000 to Rs 30,000, constituency allowance from Rs 18,000 to Rs 25,000, secretarial allowance from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000, conveyance allowance from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000. Telephone Allowance from Rs.8,000 to Rs.10,000. Daily allowance has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500. There is also a provision of Rs 1 lakh for one time allowance for purchase of laptop, printer etc. Annual travel reimbursement has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000.
The salaries of Chief Minister, Ministers, Speaker, Chief Whip and Leader of the Opposition are in the same bracket. After the amendment, the salary of these members has been increased from the existing Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000, daily allowance from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, constituency allowance from Rs 18,000 to Rs 30,000 and secretarial allowance to Rs 25,000. Along with this the reimbursement of actual expenditure for self and family has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 and Sampanchari Allowance from Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000. A vehicle advance has also been approved for purchase of vehicle worth Rs.12,00,000. There is also a one-time allowance of Rs 1,00,000 for the purchase of laptop, printer etc. Thus the salary and allowances of the Chief Minister, Speaker, Chief Whip and Leader of the Opposition will be Rs 1,70,000.
The pension of MLAs and ministers is same and it has been increased from Rs 7,500 to Rs 15,000.
Interestingly, the Delhi government has set a total salary of Rs 2.4 lakh per month for ministers, speaker, chief whip and LOP, with a salary of Rs 80,000, constituency allowance of Rs 50,000, sumpture allowance of Rs 20,000, Daily allowance of Rs. Rs 65,000 and secretarial allowance Rs 30,000, but the Center has omitted all figures.
AAP member and spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj underscored the “hypocrisy” of the commonly believed expectation that elected members believe in ‘seva’ (service) and therefore do not require attractive salaries. He also pointed to the practice in many countries abroad where legislators are adequately compensated.
Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia tried to question the general notion that “cut your cloth according to your needs”, arguing that resources should be little more than a person’s basic needs, but much more. Shouldn’t happen.
A rare display of unity and harmony was witnessed in the Delhi Assembly as Leader of Opposition Ram Singh Bidhuri backed the government and even called on the President to meet the President for final approval for bills, either with AAP members or separately. promised.
In 2015, the AAP government constituted a committee to look into the issue of enhancement of rights of elected MLAs. The government had submitted its recommendations proposing to increase the salary of MLAs from Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 and allowances from Rs 42,000 to Rs 1,09,000. Along with the allowances, the proposed increase was Rs 2.40 lakh. However, the central government rejected the recommendations. The existing bills were introduced after the Home Ministry approved the increase.