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Bihar MLAs, ministers to strike it rich

A Bill is to be brought to amend the act governing their pay, allowances and pension, reports Rai Atul Krishna.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 01:37 IST

The Bihar government is poised to facilitate a quantum jump in the remuneration package of ministers and legislators.

A Bill is to be brought in the monsoon session of the State Legislature in July-August to amend a 1960 Act governing their pay, allowances and pension. Rules will also be amended to boost ministerial perks. Confirming this, a member of a panel constituted to forge consensus on the issue said the move envisaged enhancement in salary, allowances and other facilities to legislators to bring their overall packet on par with their compatriots in other states.

However, he was unable to quantify the additional burden on the exchequer that this would entail. “The matter was pursued actively during the Budget session but has been lying in cold storage since. We’ve made out broad proposals but even the Parliamentary Affairs Department has yet to vet it before referring it to the Finance Department. As such, we have no clue what the additional expenditure would be.”

When contacted, state finance minister Sushil Kumar Modi said he had no knowledge of any such proposal. Other sources, however, claimed the salary packet of legislators was expected to go up from about Rs 23,000 to beyond Rs 30,000. Telephone bill reimbursement was slated to be almost doubled to Rs 75,000 per annum and rail travel coupons from Rs 1 lakh per year to Rs 2 lakh, with built-in facility for limited air and road travel coverage.

The NDA regime is also reportedly considering an amendment in the Act on salary, allowances and pension (applicable with retrospective effect from February 2005) to provide for life-long pension and railway coupon facilities to members of the short-lived 13th Bihar Assembly who were never sworn in as legislators.

First Published: May 01, 2006 01:37 IST