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65% pay hike unites Gujarat MLAs after sparring over fuel prices

As per the new provision, a legislator in Gujarat will get a monthly salary of Rs 1,16,316, up from Rs 70,727. The ministers, speaker and deputy speaker would get Rs 1.32 lakh as compared to their present salary of Rs 80,000.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2018 22:55 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat,salary hike,BJP
The new salary structure will be effective retrospectively from December 2017.(Getty Images/Picture for representation)

The Gujarat assembly witnessed acrimonious scenes between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress legislators over fuel price rise and farm distress. But the session ended on Wednesday with the two rival parties joining hands to give a 65% salary hike to legislators. The new salary structure will be effective retrospectively from December 2017.

The Gujarat assembly passed a Bill to increase the salary and allowances of 182 legislators, including ministers.

As per the new provision, a legislator in Gujarat will get a monthly salary of Rs 1,16,316, up from Rs 70,727. The ministers, speaker and deputy speaker would get Rs 1.32 lakh as compared to their present salary of Rs 80,000.

“Gujarat MLAs haven’t had a salary hike since 2005. This was due,” said minister for home Pradeepsinh Jadeja while proposing the hike. He added, “This will help the MLAs to work and reach out to more people and do their development work.’’

The Congress welcomed the move. “MLAs have to travel to interior areas of their constituencies, run an office where people can come with their problems and it incurs a lot of cost. The increase in salary will help in meeting these costs,’’ said senior Congress MLA Virji Thummar.

Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani said, “This will help me pay more to even the peon working at my office. But at the same time, the government should also end contract and fixed pay system and hire youths on permanent basis.”

Despite the hike, the Gujarat legislators will be getting less than their counterparts in neighbouring Maharashtra, which pays Rs 1.25 lakh to its law-makers. Data shows salaries and allowances of Gujarat legislators are much less than the MLAs in states such as Telangana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. But, they probably, get slightly more than the law makers in Bihar.

Jadeja said in the house that the revised salary structure will be effective from the beginning of the current assembly — December 22, 2017. The members will receive the arrears. Minutes before the pay hike, the Congress and the BJP MLAs were fighting over high fuel prices and rising inflation.

First Published: Sep 19, 2018 23:27 IST