Punjab govt issues notification providing ex-MLAs pension for only one term
State government is expected to save around ₹19.53 crore annually through the move as a single monthly pension of ₹75,150 each will be given irrespective of the terms for which an MLA gets elected
The Punjab government has issued a notification giving pension to former MLAs only for one term following an assent by the governor to a Bill in this regard.
Chief minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann in a tweet on Saturday said, “I am very happy to inform Punjabis that the governor has given his assent to the One MLA-One Pension Bill. The government has issued a notification.”
The assembly had passed the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2022, on June 30, paving the way for a single pension of ₹75,150 a month to each MLA irrespective of the terms for which he or she gets elected. Earlier, Punjab MLAs were drawing pensions for each term they had been elected to the assembly and some of the former MLAs were getting cumulative pensions of over ₹3 lakh a month.
There are around 300 former MLAs in Punjab who are drawing pension. CM Mann said the Punjab government is expected to save around ₹100 crore during its current tenure with this historic initiative.
The decision is in line with the demand raised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as the principal opposition party during the previous Congress-led government’s tenure in the state.
Step will revolutionise Indian political system: Mann
In a statement issued here, Mann said the move in Punjab will revolutionise and reform the Indian political system.
“Our great freedom fighters had dreamed of a classless democracy where elected representatives will work as servants of people and ensure their well-being. But in the last 75 years, these elected representatives have turned into political executives by drawing extravagant salaries and pensions from the state exchequer,” said the Punjab CM, adding that the entire burden of this facility was met by the taxpayers. “Their money was misused to fill the pockets of these leaders instead of being used for public welfare,” said Mann.
He said that the move is his government’s tribute to freedom fighters and heroes of Indian Independence movement, adding that his government will make every possible effort to restore the glory of state as ‘Rangla Punjab’.
BJP terms it a ‘hoax’
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Tarun Chugh termed ‘One MLA, One pension’ scheme, a “complete hoax.
In a statement, he said the Mann government is diverting all public money to media advertisements and added that it was recently found through an RTI that the AAP government has spent more than ₹3 crore on advertisements given to media outlets outside Punjab.
Chugh alleged that AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Mann were trying to use the money meant for Punjab’s welfare for promoting AAP’s image in other states. He claimed that the party would “plunder the Punjab exchequer for financing the party’s forthcoming elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat”. Chugh said the AAP government has not fulfilled any promises made during the last elections, but has been indulging in extravagance which is tantamount to cheating the common people in the state.