MLA fund hiked to Rs 80 lakh
THE MLA fund was hiked from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 80 lakh. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced this in the Assembly today, responding to the demands from MLAs cutting across party lines.
The increased funds will be available to the MLAs from next year and this will result in an additional burden of Rs 46 crore on the State exchequer.
During discussion on the Madhya Pradesh Appropriation (no. 3) Bill, MLAs — including Congresss’ Rajnarayan Singh Purani, BJP’s Humumchand Yadav and some others — raised the demand for an increase in the MLA fund from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
Finance Minister Raghavji said the amount had been earlier raised from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 60 lakh and now it would be hiked to Rs 70 lakh from next year in view of the MLAs’ demands.
Reminding the Finance Minister that a corporator in Delhi has a fund of Rs 1 crore, Purani and other MLAs said the amount for the State legislators should be increased to Rs 1 crore.
Speaker Ishwardas Rohani said he would like to ask the Chief Minister to look into the MLAs’ demand and hoped that Chouhan would honour the direction.
The CM then announced the raising of the fund to Rs 80 lakh and said the MLAs should be spend the amount on priority areas like construction of higher secondary school buildings. Congress’ Ramniwas Rawat also demanded discretionary fund for MLAs. He suggested the MLA fund could be slashed by Rs 5 lakh and the same could be made available to the legislators’ discretionary funds so that they could extend financial help to patients.
The CM said he was aware of the fact that many a time patients and others expect financial help from MLAs. However, modalities would have to be chalked out if the public relation fund available to them could be converted into discretionary fund. The MLAs thanked the Chief Minister on the funds hike.
Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi sought to know what happened to the report on the former MLAs given by the deputy Speaker Hazarilal Raghuvanshi. PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya wondered if Buaji (Jamuna Devi) wanted to secure her future. The Speaker said one had to accept the fact that one would have to be ‘former’ one day.