GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday by which the salaries of the MLAs, ministers, speaker, deputy speaker and leader of the opposition will go up by at least Rs 45,000 a month.
Accordingly, the monthly salary of the MLAs will be hiked to Rs 1.16 lakh as against the existing Rs 70,727, a rise of about 64 per cent, while those of the ministers, Assembly speaker, deputy speaker and leader of the opposition will go up to Rs 1.32 lakh from Rs 86,000, an increase of about 54 per cent.
The revised salaries will come into effect retrospectively 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 treasury.
The Salaries and Allowances of Members, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Ministers and Leader of Opposition Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018 was introduced in the House by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Pradipsinh Jadeja and passed unanimously.
After tabling the bill in the House, Jadeja said the salary of the MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly was not revised since 2005, even as the remuneration of their counterparts in other states was comparatively much higher.
The salaries of the lawmakers in states like Uttarakhand, Telangana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra are Rs 2. 91 lakh, Rs 2.50 lakh, Rs 2.25 lakh and Rs 2.13 lakh respectively, while in Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, their salaries are over Rs 1 lakh, he added.
The previous pay structure took the basic salary of an undersecretary as the criterion to determine the remuneration of the MLAs and office-bearers.
The new bill will take the basic salary of the deputy secretary as the criterion, Jadeja said. Citing an example, he said in Maharashtra, the basic pay of the principal secretary was taken into account while determining the legislators' salary.
Congress MLA Niranjan Patel supported the bill, saying costs had increased. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel supported the bill from the government's side.