New Delhi: Aam Admi Party’s Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal that claims to represent the interest of the common man has approved four times increase in the salaries of AAP lawmakers and ministers in the national capital.
According to reports, the pay of Delhi MLAs has been increased from Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 50,000 while the ministers will now draw Rs 80,000 instead of Rs 20,000 per month. However, the overall income of a Delhi legislator could shoot up from Rs 88,000 to about Rs 2.1 lakh now.
This comes at a time when debt-ridden farmers are putting an end to their precious lives.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh had opposed the hike sought by his party’s lawmakers citing the plight of the farmers.
“Jab desh mein itne farmers suicide kar rahe hai, aise samay par hum apni salary badhaye ye sahi nahi hai (At a time when farmers are committing suicide in our country, it is not right to increase salaries),” Singh had said.
An independent three-member panel had suggested the hike on October 6 this year which has been approved by the Delhi government. The Aam Aadmi Party government had set up the panel to look into the revision of salary after a dozen of its legislators complained that it was not enough.
“Keeping in view the cost of living in Delhi and given the fact that there is no provision being made for housing allowance or for reimbursement of bills for amenities such as electricity and water, the Committee recommends that the salary be raised from the present level of Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 50,000 per month,” said the panel in its 21-page report.
The committee, chaired by former Lok Sabha secretary general P D T Achary, had submitted the report to Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.
Besides, the hiked proposed for constituency allowance was Rs 50,000 from Rs 18,000 while conveyance allowances, the panel said, should be increased to Rs 30,000 from Rs 6,000 per month.
The panel suggested that lawmakers should get a reimbursement of Rs 70,000 as an allowance under Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance. Presently, the amount is Rs 30,000.
To meet office-related expenses, the panel said MLAs should get Rs 25,000. For communication, the allowance should be Rs 10,000. The committee also recommended that daily allowance in the assembly which is Rs 1,000 be raised to Rs 2,000.
However, the BJP and the Congress had slammed the ruling party in Delhi over the proposed hike.
“They want their salaries to be hiked from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2,10,000. They want posh residences. Is this the Aam Aadmi Party government,” BJP Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay had asked.
Youth Congress workers had staged a protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence over the recommended hike in the salaries of legislators.
The protesters, carrying banners and placards with messages such as ‘Aam aadmi hua khaas, janata ka uth gaya inse vishwas’ (Common man has become special, he has lost public faith), had raised slogans against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
(With inputs from agencies)