Speaker directs Minister to table Bill on salary hike for MLAs in Odisha Assembly
Bhubaneswar: Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha on Wednesday directed Parliamentary Affairs Minister Niranjan Pujari to table a Bill in the Odisha Assembly, pertaining to hike in the salary and pension of sitting members and ex-MLAs, after legislators, cutting across party lines, sought a ruling to the government in this regard.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra raised the issue during the Zero Hour and he was supported by Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi of the BJP and two BJD members – Amar Prasad Satpathy and Padmanabha Behera.
“The state government should consider the report submitted by the committee headed by BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy on the proposal to hike the salary and pension of MLAs and ex-legislators and table a Bill so that the House can pass it,” Narasingha said.
The senior Congress leader also demanded a hike in the travel allowance and said that the high inflation rate, particularly rise in fuel prices, added to the “hardships of members to perform their responsibilities”. He further said that Rs 5,000 is being provided to appoint an assistant was grossly inadequate. “On behalf of all the members, I urge the Speaker to give a ruling to the government to table a Bill in this regard,” he added.
Supporting the proposal to to introduce a Bill at the earliest, opposition whip Mohan Majhi said that members and ex-MLAs are facing difficulties in their day-to-day expenses. Congress whip Taraprasad Bahinipati also made a similar demand.
Notably, the committee had sent a proposal to the speaker in December last year, recommending that MLAs should get a salary of Rs 2.5 lakh a month while pension of former MLAs should be raised to Rs 1 lakh.
In September 2017, the Odisha government had last raised the salaries of MLAs and ministers by over 50%, taking it to Rs 1 lakh per month, which includes Rs 35,000 salary and Rs 65,000 as allowances. This excludes a daily allowance of Rs 1,500 per day while the House is in session, besides travel reimbursement for attending the sessions.