MLAs have to wait for arrears

Salary has been more than doubled to Rs 51,500

 
The Finance Department has put on hold payment of arrears (10 months salary and allowance) for the legislators and the hike in pension for all former legislators that have come into effect from January 2009. The Finance Department, which is strictly following austerity measures due to steep fall in revenue, has approved implementation of the pay hike only partially.

The total burden on the State Exchequer due to the hike is over Rs 17 crore, official sources said. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who also holds the Finance portfolio, recently clamped a 11-point economy measures to be strictly followed by the Government.

The Chief Minister also ordered a 10 per cent cut in non-plan expenditure, which also includes payment of the salary. The Finance Department, sources said, approved the increase in pay for sitting legislators from October in order to keep them in good books. The Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Legislature in August this year, and it received the Governor’s assent on August 22, hiking their salary.

100 pc hike

Legislators took home over 100 per cent hike with the passage of the bill. The State legislators’ pay is said to be one of the highest in the country. The total monthly pay of a legislator, including both salary and allowance, shot up to Rs 51,500 from Rs 22,000 after the bill was passed.

Interestingly, the legislature has divided the salary of its members into two components - salary and allowance. While the basic salary is just Rs 10,000, allowances constitute the major chunk of Rs 41,500.

Normally, salary means the combination of both basic salary and allowances, or it is how the State government staff salary is calculated, official sources said. So is the reason the legislature has allowed a big jump in all allowances.

Besides, increasing the existing allowances, fresh ones like constituency visiting allowance have been introduced in the pay. It also increased the pension amount for all former legislators.

Pension

This apart, the Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances (Second Amendment) Bill, 2009 was passed, making a provision for payment of 50 per cent of the pension amount to one of the family members after the death of a former legislator.

Recession effect

* The FD has put on hold the pay hike for legislators

* Economic slowdown has been cited as reason

* The hike was more than 100 per cent

* It, if implemented, burdens the exchequer by Rs 17 crore

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