The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday passed a bill to increase the monthly salary and other allowances of legislators, ANI reported. This takes their monthly pay from Rs 55,000 to Rs 1.05 lakh.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had announced the near-100% increase in salary for MLAs in July 2017. He had also said that the pension for Tamil Nadu MLAs would be raised from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000. Funds to develop their respective constituencies would be increased from Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.6 crore.
Palaniswami had tabled the bill in the state Assembly on Wednesday amid opposition from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Independent MLA TTV Dhinakaran.
The bill was tabled when transport unions in Tamil Nadu were on strike to demand that their salaries be on par with those of the drivers in other government corporations. They wanted a 2.57-times increase in their pay, but the government wanted to raise them by 2.44 times. They withdrew their strike after eight days, and agreed to the government’s offer.
The bill had invited criticism when it was first announced in July 2017 as it was made when the state’s farmers were protesting in New Delhi demanding a drought relief package of Rs 40,000 crore, farm loan waiver and a Central government-run Cauvery Management Board.
In March 2016, the salary of Telangana legislators was increased by 163% – from Rs 83,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh. MLAs from the Telugu state are the highest paid in the country.
As per a bill passed in December 2015, Delhi legislators earn Rs 2.1 lakh a month.