The Himachal Assembly took barely five minutes to pass four Bills enhancing the salaries and emoluments of MLAs and former legislators by almost 100 per cent, putting an additional burden of Rs 16.52 crore on the exchequer.
No disruptions or walkouts, the Assembly on the last day of the Budget session saw complete harmony on the issue. The matter was taken up at 12.55 pm and at 1 pm, all four Bills were passed amidst thumping of desks. The state legislators will now be among the highest paid in the country. The salary of the CM and his ministers will be close to Rs 2.5 lakh and that of each MLA about Rs 2.1 lakh.
The MLAs’ daily allowance has been hiked from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800, constituency allowance from Rs 60,000 to Rs 90,000 per month, office allowance from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 per month and computer/data entry operator allowance from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per month. The travel reimbursement amount has been raised to Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.
The pension of former MLAs has been raised to Rs 28,000 per month and additional pension to Rs 1,000 per month for each successive year after the first term. The limit for travel reimbursement has been raised to Rs 1.25 lakh.
The CM will now get Rs 95,000 a month (excluding perks) and his Cabinet colleagues Rs 80,000. The sumptuary allowance has been raised from Rs 30,000 to Rs 95,000 per month. The free travel reimbursement facility has been raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. The Speaker’s salary will now be Rs 80,000 and the Deputy Speaker Rs 75,000. Their sumptuary allowance has been increased to Rs 95,000 per month and travel reimbursement to Rs 2.5 lakh. The salaries of CPS have been enhanced to Rs 65,000.