Monday's session costs Rs 44 lakh

Monday's session costs Rs 44 lakh

Monday's session costs Rs 44 lakh

And, each of them will pocket daily allowance (sitting charges) for five days. The total expenditure the State Government incurred for the one-hour legislature session is close to Rs 42.23 lakh.

Both the Houses of Legislature met for an hour and adjourned the proceedings to December 21 in the wake of the Council elections. Though the members attended the session for just a day, they get daily allowance also termed as sitting allowance, at Rs. 600 a day for full five days. According to the norm followed by the State Legislature,  four days - two days before the session and two days after the session - constitute the travel period for legislators.

The Legislature secretariat has been spending similar amount everytime it conducts the session. But this time, the House met for just an hour and adjourned. When the House meets on December 21, the members will again be paid travel allowance besides daily allowance for four days.

Additional burden

The total daily allowance for each member is Rs 3,000 and for 300 members it amounts to Rs 9 lakh. Adjournment of the proceedings after one day’s sitting incurs additional burden in terms of travel allowance too. As per the norms, if the session is scheduled to reassemble after a gap of six days or more, members are entitled to get additional travel allowance, presuming that the members visit their constituencies when there is no session.

The current session is being convened after a gap of six days (December 14 - 21) and with that the additional burden to the state’s treasury will be around Rs 16.70 lakh. Had the session continued till end of this month without a break the members would have got only one-time TA.

A senior officer of the State Legislature says those who do not turn up for the session appeal to the Speaker/Chairman for release of daily allowance and travel allowance citing health reasons or vehicle problem. The Speaker/Chairman has the discretion it.

Extra earning

To conduct a day’s legislature session, massive official machinery is involved. Over 200 police staff are on duty. As many 1,000 employees of the State legislature are engaged. A special team of doctors are deployed  in Vidhana Soudha to attend to any health emergencies affecting the members. Staff from Horticulture Department  work on decorating the lobbies. All of them will get allowance of Rs 200 a day. Lift operators of Vidhana Soudha  also get the allowance.

“On the day of the session, the staff come two hours before the session begins. Sometimes they have to remain in office till late in the night and are awarded a special allowance”, the officer said. The staff association in the State Legislature is said to be seeking increase of their daily allowance to Rs 500.

Cost factor

* Total expenditure - Rs 42.23 lakh
* Daily allowance - Rs 9 lakh
* 300 legislators’ salary - Rs 0.91 lakh
* Travelling allowance - Rs 16.7 lakh
* Electricity charges - Rs 0.2 lakh
* Flower decoration - Rs 0.2 lakh
* Allowance to officers/staff - Rs 3.56 lakh