A proposal to hike salaries of MLAs and Ministers by more than double has been finalised by the Delhi government citing high inflation and increased cost of living.
The fresh proposal has been prepared almost three months after the Union Home Ministry rejected a similar proposal on the ground that perks and privileges not even granted to MPs were sought by the Delhi government.
“A revised proposal seeking enhancement of salaries of MLAs and Ministers has been prepared which will be put up for Cabinet approval next week,” top sources in the government told PTI.
An MLA who currently gets nearly Rs 32,000 monthly, including all incentives, will get around Rs 70,000 while a minister will get around Rs 95,000 instead of current salary of Rs 36,000 a month if the proposal is accepted by the Centre.
The sources said the enhancement of the salary has been proposed with retrospective effect from December 2009.
Justifying the demand for hike in salary, a senior Congress legislator said nine States, including Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have increased the salary of legislators in the last couple of years.
In the revised proposal, the government has dropped the demand for allocation of certain quantity of petrol to the legislators per month while it also brought down demand for giving interest-free car loans of Rs seven lakh to Rs four lakh to the legislators.
The Centre in November last year had rejected the proposal seeking a hike of up to 200 per cent in the monthly salary of MLAs and around 300 per cent increase in the salaries drawn by ministers.
Sources said as per the revised proposal, the basic salary of MLAs has been sought to be increased from existing Rs 6,000 to Rs 20,000, while the ministers’ basic salary per month has been proposed at Rs 25,000 from current Rs 10,000.
The basic salary of the Chief Minister has been proposed at Rs 30,000.
The proposal also seeks 2,000 units of free power for legislators per month, while it has fixed 10,000 kilolitres of water free of charge per month for them.
The government has also sought 20 each of air and rail travel per year for the legislators.
The house rent has been sought to be increased from current Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 per month, while office allowance has been proposed at Rs 25,000 per month.
Travel allowance has been proposed to be increased to Rs 10,000 from existing Rs 4,000 per month, while stationery allowance has been sought to be increased to Rs 5,000 from Rs 1,000.
A senior official said the entire issue will come up for discussion in Delhi Cabinet next week after which it will be sent to the Home Ministry for approval.
Earlier, the Home Ministry had said that as salary of legislators are revised after every five years, so any hike of salary of Delhi legislators could only be considered in 2012 as their salary was hiked in 2007.
The official said the proposal has been prepared on the ground that inflation has gone up substantially and all the government officials were given hefty hike in the salaries following the Sixth Pay Commission report.
“Salary of government employees has gone up significantly. So we feel the legislators should also get salary on par with the top officials,” said a ruling party MLA.