Seven years after a Bill for Salary Amendment for Delhi MLAs was first introduced in 2015, it has now been passed after changes, by the Delhi Assembly on Monday. The arguments that set the tone for the amendment and proposal to raise the salary of MLAs stood on two, one being that the cost of living had increased and second, that this would be a way to attract the best of talent.
The proposal back in 2015 was to raise the current salary of Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000. This time, seven years later that has been decreased to Rs 30,000. But in actuality, taking into account all the allowances, from the earlier proposal of Rs 56,000, the proposal is now a total of Rs 90,000 per month.
The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), in the first week of May, agreed to the new terms, paving the way for the revision. The passed bill will now need the assent of the President.
From giving examples of some of the best brains of the country going abroad to study to being hired into companies abroad, Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said increasing the salary would be something that would also be attracting talent. He went on to compare bureaucracy attracting the best of talent, and that politics must do that as well.
The salary of the Assembly members was last increased on November 4, 2011, under then Chief Minister (late) Sheila Dikshit. During that time, the salary of MLAs was increased from Rs 7,000 to Rs 12,000 per month.
The money bills were five in total the ministers of the government of the national capital territory of Delhi (salaries and allowances) (amendment) Bill, 2022, and The Members of Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension, Etc.) (Amendment) Bill.
AAP MLA Mahender Goyal said sarcastically that the ministers were being provided with facilities already under the Delhi government, which is led by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). As it had doled out freebies like free electricity, water, and medicines, and given the women of the Union Territory free travel. This he said, was all the freebies which were given by the AAP and so the MLAs too must be benefiting out of it.
Somnath Bharti, MLA from Malviya Nagar while arguing for the Bill, said that till the salary is not attractive, politics would be unable to attract the best of minds. Even going to the lengths of saying that it was mental torture to keep them living in such poverty.
For comparison, Telangana gives the highest salary and allowances to its MLAs, with the total amounting to Rs 2.5 lakh per month. Uttar Pradesh MLAs get Rs 1.87 lakh per month.
Today’s session was part of a two-day session.