Cabinet approves salary hike for MLAs, sticks to cap set by Centre

The city’s legislators will now get a salary of ₹30,000 per month, besides other allowances. File  

The Delhi Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Tuesday approved a salary hike for MLAs as per the cap fixed by the Centre.

The city’s legislators will now get a salary of ₹30,000, besides other allowances, the government stated. The move comes after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) “restricted” the Delhi government’s proposal to hike legislators’ salaries and chose to cap it at ₹30,000.

The said proposal had been pending for the last five months, said the Delhi government. The BJP opposition alleged the proposal was a veiled attempt by the Delhi government to affect a “400% increase” in MLAs’ salaries, which had been struck down by the MHA as it was “unjustified”.

The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and MLAs/Speaker-Dy Speaker/Chief Whip/Leader of Opposition of Legislative Assembly of Delhi (Amendment) Bills, 2021, were approved recently, the government stated. The proposal and the draft Bills will be sent for the MHA’s approval before being placed in the Delhi Assembly.

‘Lowest earning MLAs’

As the cost of living in the Capital had risen substantially, the restriction imposed by the Centre had forced Delhi’s MLAs to be amongst the lowest earning MLAs in the country, the city government argued,

The Delhi government said the salary of Delhi’s MLAs has not increased since 2011. It said it had requested the MHA that salaries of Delhi’s MLAs be at par with MLAs of other States “but the Centre refused”.

“Delhi government had proposed a salary of ₹54,000, at par with other States. However, the MHA restricted the salary to ₹30,000. Now, the salary plus allowances of Delhi MLAs has been restricted by the MHA to ₹90,000,” the government stated, adding: “Many States provide many other perks and allowances to their MLAs, which the Delhi government does not such as: house rent allowance, office rent and staff expenses, allowance for buying office equipment, vehicle, driver allowance.”

BJP MLA Vijender Gupta said the Delhi government had passed a Bill increasing MLAs’ salary and other allowances from ₹53,000 to ₹2,10,000 in 2015 and sent the proposal to the Centre for approval. But this was not granted as the Bill was passed in “an unconstitutional manner”, he added.

He also said in 2020, the Delhi government sent a new proposal to the MHA in which it once again demanded salary and other allowances to be increased to ₹2,10,000 per month. However, the Centre amended the proposal in January 2021 with an increase in salary and other allowances to ₹90,000 from ₹53,000 and sent it back to the Delhi government.

“The Delhi government’s proposal for a 400% hike in salary and other allowances was not justified, therefore, the Central government approved only 70% increase,” Mr. Gupta said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 11:14:21 PM |

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