Karnataka legislative assembly on Tuesday passed two important bills pertaining to the rise in salaries and perks of members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and ministers in the absence of opposition parties.
With the passing of these bills, the average salaries of MLAs will go up by 73 per cent.
The previous amendment to their salaries was effected in 1957.
When the house assembled this morning, the members of opposition Congress and JD(S) continued their boycott of the proceedings for the fourth consecutive working day.
After the customary question hour and zero hour, the minister for law Suresh Kumar presented two bills, Karnataka Ministers Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2011 and Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances (Second Amendment) Bill, 2011. As the opposition benches were vacant, the bills were passed without any discussion.
The passing of these two bills paves way for raising the salaries of MLAs by an average of 73 per cent to over Rs 95,000 per month.
In addition to this, the members will be entitled to travel and dearness allowances, constituency maintenance allowance and wages for their personal staff among others.
Till now, the MLAs were paid a salary of Rs 51,000 per month approximately and the ministers in the cabinet drew Rs 3,000 more per month.
With the increase in salaries of both ministers and MLAs, the total financial burden on the state exchequer would be Rs 26 crore per annum. According to officials in the state legislature, Karnataka ranks fifth in the country in terms of salaries and allowances to the members of legislative assembly.
MLAs in Maharashtra draw the highest salary, followed by Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.
Apart from the salary and other allowances, the members will also be entitled to 750 litres of petrol as against 500 litres per month paid till now.
“The prices of every other commodity has gone up in the country and so is the price of petroleum products.
The rise in our salaries is in line with the rising prices and there is no question of feeling happy about it as it would be sufficient to maintain the daily expenses,” a member of the assembly said.
The salary of the chief minister has been increased from Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 30,000 per month and the sumptuary allowances has been increased from Rs 75,000 per annum to Rs 1.5 lakh per annum, in addition to other allowances.