SRINAGAR: The recent decision by lawmakers in the state to give themselves a fat salary marks a whopping 400 percent increase in their basic monthly remuneration in last five years.
The last salary hike was effectuated in 2011 when legislators during the NC-Congress regime bumped up the salary from Rs 40,000 to Rs 80,300. Last week, the legislators again united, ignoring their public posture of political enmity, to increase their salary from Rs 40,000 in 2011 to Rs 1,60,000.
Under new salary scheme, Chief Minister’s perks have gone up from Rs 45,000 in 2011 to Rs 1,80,000, Cabinet Ministers from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,70,000 and Ministers of State will get 1,60,000 – same as any member of the state legislative assembly and the council.
The pension of the former members of both the Houses has witnessed increase from Rs 28,000 per month in 2011 to Rs 50,000 per month in addition to Rs 5,000 medical allowances every month.
Before the increase in the pension in 2011, the former members were getting from Rs 12,500 per month besides medical allowances of Rs 500. The medical allowances were doubled in 2011 to Rs 1000 and additional pension from Rs 300 to Rs 1000 per month for each completed year in excess of the first term. It’s worthwhile to mention here that the then NC-congress regimen gave effect of September 1, 2009, meaning thereby that the Chief Minister, Ministers and legislators received arrears of nearly 18 months on account of increase in their perks. Each Minister and legislator got nearly Rs 7.2 lakh worth arrears in one go.
As per the financial memorandum, the increase in salaries and allowances of the ministers and legislators would involve a burden of nearly Rs 12 crores per annum to the state exchequer.
The bills were introduced and passed in the Assembly the same day. While the lower house passed the bills on June 30, the Upper House accorded its assent on July 2, the day it was introduced given the “seriousness” of the matter. The whopping increase has already attracted severe criticism from various employees’ leaders who drew parallels to government “seriousness” in increase in salary of ministers and MLAs to the frivolity in fulfilling the long pending demands by the poor daily-wagers in the state.