Huge bonanza for T legislators

assembly It’s a bonanza for Telangana legislators ahead of Ugadi- the Telugu New Year day as the state assembly has approved a bill seeking to enhance their pay and perks by a whopping 140 percent. According to the new bill, a first time MLA would get a salary and perks up to Rs 2.30 lakh. Ministers will gross Rs 4 lakh’ the speaker and chairman of both the Houses would get nearly Rs 4.11 lakh whereas the salary and perks of Chief minister would go up to Rs 4.21 lakh per month. The pension of former MLAs was doubled from Rs 15,000/ to Rs 30,000/. It will go up to a maximum limit of Rs 50,000/ with an annual increment of Rs 1000/. If the former MLA expires, his spouse will get the pension, according to the Bill. In fact, a committee by the government has suggested an increase in salary and perks of MLAs up to Rs 3.5 lakh but the government has not approved of it. The vehicle loan is enhanced to Rs 25 lakh from 15 lakh. Several MLAs have asked for loan up to Rs 40 lakh and government assured that it would take up the suggestion in the next session. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao strongly defended the bill to seek hike in salaries of legislators- saying it is very much necessary keeping in mind the growing work pressure on the MLAs. “An MLA needs to attend a lot many things. He should go off to the remote areas of his constituency, come and go to Hyderabad, go around to various offices in Hyderabad for approvals, meet many people every day here and there, attend people’s functions etc. He should also bear the expenses of his gunmen, his followers. He is a member of nearly 27 committees and he needs to attend all the meetings. In addition meetings such as ZP, government functions etc. How can he get money for all these things? It is a wrong notion that an MLAs is rich and he should not take any money from the government. There are MLAs who take hand loans and arrange food and other expenses from their pockets. There is every need to hike their salary. If we don’t respect our MLAs, who else will do?” he pointed out. He has stated that “these are the days where people need to attend to developmental works. There is no need to sacrifice anything. The economic dynamics have changed drastically. When I was an MLA in Siddipet in 1985, my salary was just 500/ out of which Rs 110/ was cut down on various counts. I struggled hard to come and go. I informed the same to the then Chief Minister NT Rama Rao during a session in Gandipet” he revealed. Later the Assembly approved the Bill with a voice vote

Medaram Jathara

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