Other States

Himachal MLAs to get full salaries from April 1: CM

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presenting the budget for 2021-22 on Saturday said the salaries of State MLAs will be paid in full from April 1 and the MLALAD fund will be restored fully.

Mr. Thakur proposed no new tax in his fourth budget which pegged total expenditure at ₹50,192 crore for 2021-22 against ₹49,131 crore in the last fiscal despite the COVID-19 crisis.

The Chief Minister announced a budgetary allocation of ₹8,024 crore for education and ₹3,016 crore for health services during 2021-22.

Debt burden

After presenting the budget, Mr. Thakur said that the State has a debt burden of ₹60,500 crore. The debt burden has increased by ₹4,763 crore from ₹55,737 crore in the last financial year.

Earlier, Mr. Thakur announced in the Assembly that MLAs will get their full salary from April 1.

Mr. Thakur, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the MLA local area development (MLALAD) fund will not only be restored, but it will be hiked by ₹5 lakh from ₹1.75 crore to ₹1.80 crore.

The State government had last year decided to cut 30% salary of MLAs and suspend the MLALAD fund for two years to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chief Minister said that total revenue receipts are estimated at ₹37,028 crore during 2021-22, whereas total revenue expenditure is estimated to be ₹38,491 crore, leading to a revenue deficit of ₹1,463 crore. Fiscal deficit is estimated at ₹7,789 crore which is 4.52% of the Gross State Domestic Product, he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted revenue receipts adversely during 2020-21, he said, adding that its impact on State’s own revenue cannot be ruled out during 2021-22.

The Chief Minister announced 12 new schemes with focus on women welfare and empowerment, expansion of social security net, strengthening and expansion of health services, increasing income of farmers, employment creation, infrastructure and industrial development and quality education.

He stated that 40,000 new beneficiaries would be brought under Social Security Pension schemes.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 5:03:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/himachal-mlas-to-get-full-salaries-from-april-1-cm/article34009132.ece

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