The government has given a Republic Day bonanza for the 70 MLAs of Delhi. Their salary is set to double from this month after President APJ Abdul Kalam cleared a proposal of the state government to hike the salary of the MLAs, ministers and the chief minister.
"We had passed the Bill in the Winter Session of the Assembly. After receiving the presidential assent on Thursday, it has been notified in the gazette. The benefits would accrue from the date it is notified," Delhi Finance Minister AK Walia told HT.
The total salary of the chief minister and the six ministers would now be Rs 39,000 per month. It was earlier Rs 26,000 per month. The MLAs would get Rs 34,000 per month instead of Rs 16,500 earlier. The increased salary would mean a burden of Rs 1.71 crore on the exchequer of the government.
For the CM and the ministers, there are certain other perks. While the CM would be reimbursed for 5000 units of electricity per month, the ministers would be reimbursed for 3000 units of power consumed. If they consume more power than prescribed, they will have to spend it from their own pockets. Earlier, both the CM and the ministers were getting Rs 5,000 per month for electricity irrespective of the consumption. The MLAs do not get anything on account of power.
Translated in monetary terms, this means that the ministers and the CM would get power and water reimbursement which effectively increases the salary of ministers to Rs 49,000 per month and that of the chief minister to Rs 57,000 per month.
Both the ministers and the MLAs would also get additional Rs 35,000 per year as travelling allowance and soft loans for purchase of vehicles.
But the MLAs are not satisfied. They want more, particularly security for themselves. They want one personal security officer each and more salary to match their counterparts in states like Goa. Ramvir Singh Bidhuri of the NCP said that the salary should be around Rs 75,000 keeping in view the work the MLAs put in and the expenditure incurred on several counts. "It should be linked to inflation rather than a fixed amount," said Bidhuri.
Email Amitabh Shukla: ashukla @hindustantimes.com