Barely days after the Union Cabinet approved a 300 per cent pay hike for MPs, a joint committee of legislators in Maharashtra has recommended a 62 per cent increase in the salaries of MLAs and MLCs from the state.
The committee said the total monthly salary and perks for a legislator, which now come to `44,500, should be raised to `71,500. The Bill to approve the hike will be placed in the state legislature’s winter session in Nagpur.
A pay hike has been a longstanding demand of state legislators.
While the panel has said the basic salary (`2,000) and other allowances, barring the stationery allowance, should go up by `2,000 each, it has asked the state to okay a `21,000 hike in constituency allowance, thus taking it from `25,000 to `46,000.
In Gujarat, the basic salary itself is `21,000; in Delhi and Karnataka, it is `90,000 and `12,000 respectively. Assam’s legislators got their basic pay recently increased from `12,000 to `40,000.
Maharashtra has 289 MLAs and 78 MLCs.
Though Finance Minister Sunil Tatkare, whose department has to approve the hike, was not available for comment, a legislator in the know of the matter said the recommendations were likely to be reviewed further before the winter session as many legislators wanted a further hike in allowances.
“We are targeted whenever we demand a salary hike, but people should know that many of us are not able to manage growing expenses.”
Principal secretary (state legislature) Anant Kalse backed the demand. “I have met MLAs from rural areas who have sold properties to meet expenses.”