State govt to hike daily allowance of MLAs, ministers
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday said that her government has decided to increase the allowances of ministers and MLAs in the state.
Ministers will now be getting a daily allowance of Rs 3,000, up from Rs 2,000 per day, while MLAs will get Rs 2,000 a day, up from Rs 1,000. The announcement by the Chief Minister came in the wake of recommendations from different members of the state Assembly.
"There have been different types of recommendations from the honourable members and the government has decided to increase the allowances of the ministers and MLAs. Finance minister Amit Mitra is not well. But we can afford this at the moment," Banerjee announced at the state Assembly, adding that her government will have to cough up an additional expenditure of Rs 15 crore for this purpose.
The allowances are given to MLAs and ministers' for their presence in the Assembly, either during the session or for any other meeting. "In most of the cases, the members have to attend the Assembly on a regular basis to attend their respective committee meetings," a senior member of the Assembly said.
According to the enhancement, the MLAs will get an approximate allowance of Rs 60,000 instead of Rs 30,000 and the allowance of the ministers, including the Chief Minister, will be Rs 90,000 instead of Rs 60,000 per month.
However the Opposition protested the announcement, citing disparity of allowances between the MLAs and ministers. "There should not be any difference of daily allowance between the MLAs and ministers, because all are members of this house," Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty said.
It may be mentioned here that this is the third time the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to increase the emoluments of the MLAs and ministers.
Prior to this, when the state Assembly passed the West Bengal Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the salary of the Chief Minister was increased to Rs 27,001 from Rs 8,500. The ministers' salary was increased to Rs 22,000 from a meagre Rs 7,500, while the salary of the ministers of state was raised to Rs 21,900 from Rs 7,300. Similarly, the salary of the MLAs was hiked to Rs 17,500 from Rs 5,000.
The salary of the Leader of Opposition was also increased to Rs 22,000 from Rs 10,500. In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee came to power, the allowance of members of Assembly was increased as well.