NEARLY 800 former legislators will stand to gain from the State government decision to double their pension. The former MLAs would get a monthly pension of Rs 6000 as against the current Rs 3000, once the decision is implemented.
The Government is all set to introduce necessary amendments in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Vetan, Bhatta and Pension Act, 1972 during the forthcoming assembly session.
The issue was in circulation for the past one year but was not cleared because of some reservations of the Finance department. The finance department has now consented to the proposal.
This would entail a burden of Rs 3 crore on the State exchequer. The hike would be paid as ‘honorarium’. There is also another proposal to double the amount of pension to the spouse, if any or dependant of any member who dies during his term.
The Government is aware that the proposal would not meet any opposition from any political party as the interests of `all’ were involved in this decision.
“This kind of a proposal is unlikely to be stalled by the MLAs of other political parties because everyone wanted to secure their future,” said a senior officer requesting anonymity.
At present ex-MLAs are getting pension of Rs 3000 per month along with various other perquisites like a fixed medical allowance of Rs 2000 per month, free bus passes for State Road Transport, Free Medical treatment in Government Hospitals, railway coupons to travel by first class or second AC class or with the spouse or an attendant by second class Sleeper coach or by second class by any railway.
Political observers consider the development as a step towards raising the salary and pension of the present MLAs. Shivraj Singh Chouhan Government has already hiked the MLA Local Area Development (MLALAD) Fund from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 80 lakh last year.