NEW DELHI: Seven years after the Aam Aadmi Party government first proposed to increase the salaries of its legislators and ministers, Delhi Assembly finally passed a bill on Monday proposing a revision of the monthly remuneration of MLAs from the existing Rs 54,000 to Rs 90,000 per month.
The salaries and perks of the MLAs were last revised in 2011 under the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government.
The bills proposing the increase in the salaries of the ministers, speaker and deputy speaker, chief whip and leader of the Opposition from the current Rs 70,000 per month to Rs 1.70 lakh were also passed by Delhi Assembly on Monday.
Party sources said that despite the hike and after including perks and facilities, the Delhi legislators’ remuneration was still among the lowest in the country. In comparison, the MLAs of Goa get Rs 2.24 lakh, Madhya Pradesh Rs 1.10 lakh, and Karnataka Rs 1.07 lakh.
The five amendment bills on the hiked salaries and allowances were tabled by law, justice and legislative affairs minister Kailash Gahlot on the first day of the two-day assembly session and were passed by the voice vote after a debate. Gahlot said there had been a persistent demand from the MLAs for the increase in their salaries and perks due to the higher prevailing price index. He said it was also felt that the salaries of ministers, speaker and other constitutions officials need to be enhanced.
For this purpose, the Ministers of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Salaries and Allowances) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, has been initiated to amend the earlier legislation, Gahlot said, and allow MLAs and ministers to “work effectively”.
In 2015, the newly elected AAP MLAs had demanded a raise in their salaries arguing that the existing emoluments weren’t enough to run their families and offices. The state government formed a three-member committee headed by former Lok Sabha secretary general PDT Achary, which proposed a 400% hike in the salary from Rs 54,000 to Rs 2.1 lakh a month.
Accepting the committee’s recommendations, Delhi Assembly cleared the proposal, which, however, hit a roadblock when the Union government refused to approve it. Six years later in August last year, the government against sent a note to the Centre seeking an increase in MLA’s salary from Rs 54,000 to …….