Coimbatore Corporation on Thursday decided to increase the sitting fees of the Councillors.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Councillor representing Ward 52 A. Nandhakumar demanded that the Council revise the sitting fees.
The Corporation pays Councillors sitting fees if they attend the Council meeting.
At present, it is Rs. 800. The civic body pays Rs. 50 if the Councillors attend the zonal meetings or committee meetings. It also reimburses their mobile phone expenses at Rs. 250 a month. With Mr. Nandhakumar making a mention of it, Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman R. Prabhakaran sought an increase in mobile phone allowance as well.
This sparked off discussions among Councillors with some suggesting the sitting fees be hiked to Rs. 5,000. A few others said it could around Rs. 3,000.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) Councillor V. Ramamoorthy said that while he was not ready to specify the quantum of hike, his only request was that it should be subject to norms. He also suggested that the Council consider paying a salary to the Councillors, just as the Kerala Government paid its local body Councillors. He also sought a transport allowance.
A few Councillors sought to strengthen their case by citing the increase in Corporation’s revenue
With each Councillor mentioning fees that suits him or her, Mayor S.M. Velusamy intervened and said that the upper limit for mobile phone reimbursement could be fixed at Rs. 500 and the sitting fees at Rs. 4,000. He also hinted at sitting fees for zonal meetings at Rs. 500. But he added that the hike would be subject to State Government’s approval.