The Gujarat legislators, cutting across party lines, Wednesday gifted themselves with a hefty 65 per cent in their monthly salaries, revised for the first time after 2005.
The ruling BJP, Congress and two MLAs of the NCP unanimously passed the Salaries and Allowances of Members, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Ministers and Leader of Opposition Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018 on the floor of the State Assembly. The bill was introduced by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Pradeepsinh Jadeja.
After tabling the bill, Jadeja informed the House that the salary of the MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly had not been revised since 2005, while the remuneration of their counterparts in other states was comparatively much higher.
The monthly salary of a legislator in Gujarat will now be Rs 1.16 lakh, up from the existing Rs 70,727, a rise of about 64 per cent, while those of the ministers, Assembly speaker, deputy speaker and leader of opposition will go up from Rs 86,000 to Rs 1.32 lakh, an increase of about 54 per cent. According to the new pay structure, the personal assistant allowance has been hiked from Rs 3,000 to Rs 20,000 and telephone from Rs 4,000 to Rs 7,000.
The revised salaries will come into retrospective effect from February 2017, with a disbursal of Rs 6 crore in arrears. The new remuneration structure will put an extra burden of Rs 10 crore annually on the state exchequer.
According to Minister of State for Home, Jadeja, who moved the Bill in the House, the salary and allowances of Uttarakhand MLAs is Rs 2.91 lakh, Telangana Rs 2.50 lakh, Jharkhand Rs 2.25 lakh, Himachal Pradesh Rs 2.10 lakh, Uttar Pradesh Rs 1.95 lakh, Haryana Rs 1.63 lakh, Jammu And Kashmir Rs 1.60 lakh, Delhi Rs 1.34 lakh, Assam Rs 1.30 lakh, Rajasthan Rs 1.30 lakh and that of Punjab MLAs is Rs 1.15 lakh.
The ruling BJP has 99 MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, seven more than a simple majority, and the opposition Congress has 77, there are three Independents, one from Nationalist Congress Party and two from Bharatiya Tribal Party.