There is some good news for the Delhi legislators as a proposal of the Arvind Kejriwal government to increase the salary and allowances of the MLAs in the national capital by 66 per cent has been approved by the President of India.
This means that an MLA in Delhi will now get Rs 90,000 per month, instead of Rs 54,000. Their basic salary, which was Rs 12,000, has now gone up to Rs 30,000.
After the approval from the President of India, the Department of Law and Justice of Delhi government issued a notification that the incumbent Delhi MLAs will receive a 66.67% hike on their current salaries.
Why the hike? The salary increment fro Delhi MLAs has come after 12 years. Though Arvind Kejriwal had proposed an increment in the salaries of the MLAs in 2015 after coming to power, it was rejected.
But now, before the Delhi government's budget, the proposal to hike the salary of the MLAs has been approved. The incremented salaries will be effective from February 2023.
Bigger raise for CM and misnisters: Apart from the increase in the monthly remunerations of MLAs, the monthly salary of Delhi Chief Minister, ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip, and Leader of Opposition have also been increased from Rs 72,000 per month to Rs 1.70 lakh per month.
The changes: The basic salary of an MLA has been increased to Rs 30,000 per month from Rs 12,000 per month, while that of Speakers, Ministers, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip and Leader of the Opposition has been increased to Rs 60,000 per month from Rs 20,000.
Similarly, the continuance allowance has been increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000, while telephone bill allowance increased from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. The secretariat amount is increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000, while the travel allowance of MLAs has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
Are the Delhi MLAs lowest paid legislatives in India? When Arvind Kejriwal's government had tabled this bill in July 2022, his main grievance with the Centre was that the Delhi lawmakers are the one of lowest paid MLAs in India.
The Kejriwal government had also requested the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that the salary and allowances of the Delhi MLAs should be at par with MLAs from other states.
If we look at Salary+Allowances of the other Indian states, Delhi MLAs draw lower salaries compared to their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra etc.
As per a data from CNBC, the MLAs of Delhi draw salary only more than only seven non-Hindi speaking states, which are Puducherry (50,000) Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 49,000), Mizoram (Rs 47,000), Assam (Rs 42,000), Manipur (Rs 37,000), Nagaland (Rs 36,000) and Tripura (Rs 34,000).
Here is what MLAs from other states get paid every month:
Now, with Rs 90,000 per month, the pay of Delhi MLAs will still be less than what MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar or Uttar Pradesh get. Also, what's worth mentioning is that in many states, the basic pay of MLAs might be less compared to the MLAs of Delhi, but the allowances they get on top of that takes their salary past Rs 1 lakh.
For example, the basic salary of MLAs of Andhra Pradesh is Rs 12,000 but their constituency allowance stands at Rs 1.13 lakh per month. Similarly, the basic salary of Kerala MLAs is just Rs 2,000, but their contitutency allowances takes their salary to Rs 70,000 per month.