The issue of MLAs’ salaries came under the spotlight again Wednesday, when the names of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s children were struck off their school register due to non-payment of fees. The legislator from Okhla said he had failed to pay his children’s school fees for the last six months due to his ‘abysmal’ salary.
“This is not only embarrassing for a parent but also distressing. My wife has been inconsolable since last night. They tried reaching out to me yesterday but I was stuck in the assembly session… today, I was busy with a party protest. If I could afford to pay the fees, I would have done so several months ago. If you are an honest MLA, how can you manage with such an abysmal salary,” said Khan.
The names of Khan’s daughter, who is in Class III, and son, who is in Class VII, were struck off the school register this week, six months after the MLA failed to pay their fees at the Hamdard Public School. “We received text messages saying their names had been struck off from the roll and we will now have to contact the school office for re-admission that will involve additional charges,” said Khan.
“The outstanding amount was already Rs 58,000 for both my children… now, with the re-admission fees, where will we arrange so much money from? For someone who could not pay the fees, how does the school expect us to pay more,” said Khan.
The MLA said that the salary he draws leaves very little for him to make both ends meet.
“From the Rs 83,500 that I get every month, Rs 62,000 is spent in running my office, which includes salaries of two data operators whom I pay Rs 30,000; Rs 12,000 is for a driver; and Rs 20,000 for two office boys… I have turned the ground floor of our house into my office… All my finances are transparent,” said Khan. “It has been difficult to face my children and wife.”
Khan is hoping the Ministry of Home Affairs will give its nod to the bill passed by the Delhi legislative assembly proposing a 400 per cent hike in the salaries of MLAs and ministers.