Once implemented, the legislators will become the highest-earning MLAs in the country with a monthly salary and allowances of Rs 2.88 lakh.
Presently, the MLAs of Telangana get a maximum amount of Rs 2.50 lakh per month.
In the budget session of the Assembly, the legislators from both sides — ruling and opposition — unanimously passed the proposal for a salary hike. On the basis of this proposal, a special committee of five MLAs was constituted, which has now submitted its report to the Speaker.
The committee was headed by senior BJP MLA Ramchandra Chandravanshi, while the other four members were Congress’s Pradeep Yadav, and Deepik Pandey Singh, JMM’s Sameer Kumar Mohanty, and BJP’s Bhanupratap Shahi.
It is believed that the report of the special committee will be implemented soon because the legislators from the ruling party to the opposition are unanimous on it.
This will be the seventh salary hike for legislators of Jharkhand, the state which came into existence on 15 November 2000.
The last salary hike was done in 2017, during the tenure of the then Raghuvar Das government. The salaries and allowances of the MLAs were increased by about 33 per cent in 2017.
In the year 2001, the MLAs of Jharkhand used to get only Rs 19,800 as salary and allowance. Now after the new increment, they will get almost 14 times more money than what they used to get in 2001.
The salary and allowances of an MLA in Delhi is around Rs 95,000. Delhi’s per capita income is Rs 4.45 lakh and per capita loan is Rs 19,571 whereas in Jharkhand the per capita income is Rs 91,000 and the per capita loan is Rs 30,000. Even from this point of view, the MLAs in Jharkhand are not only ahead of Delhi but also ahead of most of the states in the country.
The special committee has also recommended an increase in the facilities for former Speakers.
The committee has recommended providing them bigger residences (F type), one emergency secretary, two routine clerks, two assistants, one car driver and 300 litres of fuel per month.
For MLAs, the committee has recommended a monthly salary of Rs 60,000, which is currently Rs 40,000. The conveyance, as per the recommendations, has to be increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5000 per month. Regional allowance from Rs 65,000 to Rs 80,000.
The panel also recommended offering Rs 10,000 monthly for stationery; daily allowance of Rs 2,000 in the state and Rs 2,500 outside the state; Rs 1 lakh annually for telephone, mobile, and internet; Rs 3 lakh annually for equipment and accommodation; coupon of Rs 60,000 for rail, air and road transport; newspapers and magazines allowance of Rs 3,000 monthly (currently Rs 2,000); Rs 15,000 monthly for personal assistance; Rs 1 lakh for computer and laptop; and Rs 50,000 monthly for personal assistant.
Besides, the committee also recommended providing a car loan of up to Rs 20 lakh and a home loan of up to Rs 40 lakh at a 4 per cent interest rate.
Several other benefits recommended by the panel included MLAs’ income tax to be paid by the state government, a room at Delhi’s Jharkhand Bhawan for Rs 100 per day, medical allowance same as an IAS officer and accommodation as per the rules of the state government.