Charity doesn't begin at Legislators' Home


While ministers and legislators made tall promises of contributing their one month’s salary towards North Karnataka flood relief, little did one suspect that they would actually take advantage of the Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances Act and get away with contributing just their “basic” salary.
The Act divides their salaries into two components –– the salary which is Rs 10,000 and allowance, Rs 41,500.

Hence, the legislators, especially MLAs, have conveniently decided to contribute their  “salary”, and have stuck to forgoing the lesser component.
The ruling party MLAs have contributed Rs 10,000 of the total monthly pay of Rs 51,500, while the opposition Congress MLAs have allowed a deduction of 20 per cent of their basic salary for 12 months.

The JD(S) legislators have so far not come forward to contribute anything from their salary. By doing so, these MLAs have managed to retain most part of their salaries, even while claiming to donate their one month’s salary towards flood relief.

MLCs are more honest
Thankfully, the ruling party members in the Upper House are more generous. They have contributed the entire pay of Rs 51,500. But the opposition Congress and JD(S) in the Council have taken the same stand as that of their Assembly colleagues, official sources said.

Apart from the Rs 51,500 pay, every MLA and MLC is paid around Rs 25,000 as travel allowance and dearness allowance every month for attending meetings of various Legislature Standing Committees.
Those from far off places like Gulbarga and Bidar get much more, official sources added.

If the legislators had contributed their entire pay as promised, it would have amounted to Rs 1.30 crore. But now the legislators, both upper and lower Houses, will together be contributing around Rs 45 lakh, according to sources.

Relief fund
This is not all. Members of the opposition Congress in both Houses have contributed towards the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, unlike others who have contributed towards the CM’s Relief Fund.Shamanur Shivashankarappa and M V Rajashekaran, both from Congress, are the only legislators who have contributed to both the funds. Also, only 62 Congress MLAs of the total 74 have given in writing to contribute to the flood relief.

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