The independent committee of experts, which was set up to look into revision of pay and allowances for Delhi’s MLAs, has recommended a hefty hike — from the current Rs 88,000 to Rs 2.10 lakh per month. This amount includes the total salary as well as various allowances.
The three-member committee comprises former secretary general P D T Achari, journalist K V Prasad and Supreme Court advocate Balraj Malik. “…When the government receives the report, it will take a reasoned decision after carefully going through each recommendation and the reasons behind it. It will also look at which recommendations to accept and which to reject,” said a statement by the government.
The committee was set up after a section of AAP MLAs asked the government for an increase in their allowances Currently, MLAs draw a basic salary of Rs 12,000. The committee recommended that this be revised to Rs 50,000 per month — a 400 per cent hike. The MLAs will be entitled to a one-time allowance. The committee also proposed that MLAs should not be given free accommodation, and power and water reimbursements.
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The recommendations will be sent to the salary and allowance committee by the assembly speaker and then to the government’s law department to be finalised as a Bill. This will then be sent to the union home ministry for final approval.
Apart from this, the committee recommended a future revision of salary as well — that it be raised by 10 per cent of the basic salary, i.e. Rs. 5,000 every 12 months, from the date on which the new pay and allowances come into force.
Meanwhile, the BJP and the Congress were quick to decry the recommendations. BJP leader Vijender Gupta said, “There is already an additional burden of Rs 7,000 crore on citizens as a number of taxes has been increased…” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken called the recommendations a ploy to keep disillusioned AAP MLAs happy.