MLAs, ministers want a raise, so Delhi govt builds a strong case

Govt writes to other states for information on how much do their MLAs draw, will send details to Union Home Ministry

To build a strong case for a salary hike for MLAs, the Delhi government has asked several states for information on how much do their legislators earn.

The information will be compiled, analysed and then sent to the Home Ministry for approval, a senior government official coordinating the efforts told Newsline.

"We have already received replies through fax from Maharashtra and Goa. A letter will be sent out this week to the states that are yet to send the information," the official said.

Last November, Home officials rejected a Delhi government proposal to double the salary of legislators and nearly triple the package Cabinet ministers take home, pointing out that even parliamentarians don't earn that much.

The Delhi Cabinet subsequently approved another proposal this February, this time offering to raise the pay of both legislators and ministers by nearly three times from the current Rs 32,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for an MLA and from Rs 43,000 to Rs 1,20,000 for a minister.

But after holding the proposal for several weeks, state Law officials suggested salary structures of counterparts in other states should be collated to send a strong case to the Home Ministry, the official said.

"The pay in several other states has been increased over the last few years. We hope a comparative assessment will convince Home officials about our demands," a minister said.

State ministers discussed the continuing delay in their salary hike proposal at a Cabinet meeting this Monday. "The proposal has stretched for too long now. The Chief Minister informed us that the file will soon be sent to the Home Ministry for final approval," the minister said.

The salary of Delhi legislators was last revised in 2007, a fact Home officials pointed to while rejecting the proposal last year saying salaries are usually revised every five years.

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