Hyderabad: The salaries and allowances of MLAs and MLCs in Telangana are set for a more than two-fold hike as the Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill in this regard.
The passage of Telangana Payment of Salaries and Pension and Removal of Disqualifications (Amendment) Bill-2016 came close on the heels of the Committee on Amenities of the Telangana Legislature unanimously deciding to recommend to enhance the salary and other allowances on 21 March. It is estimated that the hike would cause a recurring expenditure of Rs 42.67 crores per annum, according to the Financial Memorandum in the Bill.
The legislators' gross salary would now go up to Rs 2.30 lakh per month from the present Rs 95,000 per month (including allowances), chief whip Koppula Eswar earlier told PTI.
A pension of Rs 30,000 has also been proposed for ex-legislators.
Legislature Affairs Minister T Harish Rao, who moved the Bill, said the hike is being made as per requests made to the government in last one-and-half year by MLAs and MLCs.
Observing that the hike is necessary for people like him who came from humble back ground, Congress member Sampath Kumar said his party welcomed the bill.
BJP member Ch Ramachandra Reddy also sought a hike in the vehicle loan.
Noting that economic dynamics have undergone a sea change over the years, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the legislators have to bear costs for attending a number of meetings of the government, zilla parishad and others and for taking care of number of visitors everyday.
They also have to bear the costs involved in travelling within the constituency, to the district headquarters and also the state capital city, he said.
Referring to the debate in media on salary hike for MLAs and MLCs, Rao also made an appeal to the mediapersons to understand the prevailing situation.
The estimated expenditure of Rs 42 crores does not constitute even the perceptible percentage of the state budget (of more than Rs one lakh crore), he said.
Earlier, the Assembly passed the Dr BR Ambedkar Open University (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Congress, BJP, TDP and others voiced opposition to government's move to appoint vice chancellors by allegedly taking away the powers from the governor.
The government should nominate deserving persons to a search committee for selection of vice chancellor, they said.
CM Rao, however, recalled that there were instances when VCs indulged in corruption and that the VCs should be appointed in the context of new state of Telangana.
Alleging that the government's move would lead to dilution of autonomy of universities, Congress staged a walk out.
Another bill, the Telangana (Agricultural Produce and Livestock) Markets (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was also passed.
The Bill would provide reservations in appointment of Market Committees and the state stood as an ideal for states, Marketing Minister T Harish Rao said.
On a suggestion by senior Congress MLA G Chinna Reddy, the chief minister agreed to have quota for women as well in the Bill.