The state’s lawmakers on Friday passed a bill raising their own salaries, and that too substantially. While ministers will now draw a salary of Rs1.80 lakh to Rs2 lakh every month from the Rs57,000 they received till now, MLAs and MLCs will earn Rs1.60 lakh to Rs1.70 lakh every month as against Rs75,000. The move is expected to out an annual burden of Rs60 crore on the cash-strapped exchequer, which has a debt burden of around Rs3.5 lakh crore.
Both houses of the legislature cleared the bill, which governs the salary of MLAs, ministers and presiding officers of the legislature. Besides the MLAs and ministers, 1,500 former legislators will also get a hike in their monthly pension. It has been raised to Rs50,000 from Rs40,000 every month, and Rs10,000 per term served. Further, even personal assistants will now earn Rs25,000 a month instead of Rs15,000.
The ministers and legislators, while demanding the hike, pointed that the salary of IAS officers is higher than that of the elected representatives.
The legislators demanded the salary to be raised on par with the salary drawn by top bureaucrats, after the implementation of the seventh pay commission.
Post-hike, the salaries of ministers would be equivalent to that of the chief secretary, while those of the legislators will be equivalent to what is drawn by principal secretaries of the state government.
The demand for the rise in the salary was deferred for the past two years in the wake of the drought in the state.
The last revision of salary of legislators and ministers was done in July 2010, with effect from April 1 of the same year.