Mizoram lawmakers’ pay hike causes heartburns in Tripura

August 1st, 2011 - 11:55 am ICT by IANS  

Aizawl/Agartala, Aug 1 (IANS) Tripura legislators have another reason to demand a pay hike. A new law in neighbouring Congress-ruled Mizoram has jacked up lawmakers’ monthly salary to Rs.75,000, as compared to Rs.11,500 that their counterparts in the Left-ruled Tripura carry home every month.

The Mizoram assembly Friday passed an amendment bill hiking salaries of the chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, ministers and legislators.

From August, legislators of the 40-member assembly would get a pay packet of Rs.75,000 which would even be higher than Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s Rs.70,000.

In Tripura, the wages of the elected representatives, including the chief minister, in the 60-member assembly range from Rs.11,500 to Rs.12,500.

“The salaries and allowances of legislators, opposition leader, ministers and chief minister are the lowest in Tripura among all Indian states,” Tripura’s Leader of Opposition Ratan Lal Nath of the Congress told IANS.

According to the four separate amendments of the salaries and allowances bills passed in the Mizoram assembly, the chief minister’s salary was raised from Rs.25,500 to Rs.70,000 and that of cabinet ministers from Rs.23,500 to Rs.63,000 per month. This includes salary and allowances.

From next month, the Mizoram assembly speaker’s monthly pay and perks would rise from Rs.25,000 to Rs.65,000 and his deputy’s from Rs.22,500 to Rs.60,000. Ministers of state would get Rs.58,000 per month instead of Rs.22,500 per month at present.

“Legislators, who have been receiving Rs.24,500 per month as salary, would now get Rs.75,000 per month. Their travelling allowance per annum has been enhanced from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.2 lakh. House rent allowance per month for all of the legislators were raised from Rs.7,000 to Rs.10,000,” according to a bill.

A senior official of the Mizoram finance department said that it was estimated that an additional expenditure of Rs.7.75 crore would be incurred annually for meeting the enhanced expenditures on salaries and allowances of the chief minister, ministers, legislators and others.

In the recently held Tripura assembly session, Congress legislator Sudip Roy Burman demanded that a committee be constituted to review the salary and allowances of legislators and ministers.

Opposition Congress legislators have been demanding salary and allowances of the legislators at par with secretary-level officers of the state government.

“One of the many reasons behind the corruption among the elected representatives is the poor salary of public representative,” opposition leader Nath observed.

Nath said that lawmakers of most Indian states were, on an average, getting Rs.50,000 per month as salary.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar rejected the demand to hike salaries and allowances of legislators and ministers.

“We did not join politics to earn money, we are in politics to serve the people,” Sarkar, also a Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member, earlier told Congress legislators in the assembly.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at sujit.c@ians.in)

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