Govt working on lawmakers’ pay hike
COLLECTING INFO FROM OTHER STATES
Srinagar, Sept 6: The state government is collecting information about the salaries of legislators in different states before deciding on the salary hike of J&K lawmakers, as announced during the recent Assembly session.
A member of legislative Assembly in J&K is at present drawing Rs 40,000 as salary including allowances. However the MLAs argue that it was not enough and there should be an increase as per warrant of precedence.
Speaking on the issue, the minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, told Greater Kashmir that government has started to collect information from other states. “The process would take some time but government is at it. We want to first know about the issue in detail from other states in comparison to Jammu and Kashmir keeping in view the topography, development and other parameters,” the Finance minister said.
However, Rather said government would also keep into consideration the growing market prices before deciding on the issue. “But we will not take any decision in hurry,” he said.
During the recently concluded Assembly session, the legislators, cutting across the party lines, demanded that their salary should be hiked. The legislators had even demanded that the government should bring a bill regarding the issue.
However, the government assured the members that their salaries would be hiked and given the effect from July 1, 2009. Regarding the quantum of increase, the government said it would collect information from other states.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Peoples Democratic Party’s senior legislator Nizam-ud-Din Bhat said the legislators have a genuine demand. “In fact there should be rationale as per warrant of precedence. We are above the chief secretary. Our nature of duty is more difficult than a chief secretary,” he said.
The MLAs, Bhat said, were drawing a salary of Rs 40,300 including all expenses, medical allowances, telephone and residential rent and other facilities.
A senior National Conference legislator said anybody engaged in service was drawing salary as per a rationale. “But there is no rationalization for the political workers. We are singled out for an undeserving treatment,” he said.
Pertinently, the Constituency Development Fund for each legislator has been increased from Rs 35 lakhs to Rs 50 lakhs from this fiscal. The government has already promised to review the hike in the CDF next year subject to the maximize utilization of the funds by the legislators.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Sep 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Sep 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Sep 2009 00:00:00 IST
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