Gujarat: In 26 minutes, lawmakers approve salary-hike for themselves
On Wednesday, Gujarat lawmakers showed an unprecedented unity as they passed a bill after a debate which lasted 26 minutes. The bill, which didn't even exist on Tuesday, became a law. The fact that it gives lawmakers 60% hike in salary is possibly the biggest reason behind zero resistance. As opposed to Rs. 70,727/month, lawmakers will draw Rs. 1,16,316/month salary, including perks and allowances.
Opposition leaders criticized BJP on fuel-prices, welcomed salary hike
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Pradipsinh Jadeja introduced the bill in the Assembly. Only a day before the bill was tabled, many leaders of the Opposition cycled their way to the Assembly to protest against rising fuel prices. But once the bill was tabled, the protests died down. Increments were proposed amid cheers from the Opposition, reports DNA.
Deputy CM says minister can refuse hike, they didn't
Jadeja said this bill was proposed keeping in mind long-pending demands of ministers. Deputy CM and Finance Minister Nitin Patel said the new salaries would cost the government Rs. 10 crore per year. "Those who wish to accept the hike can take the increment or refuse it," he said, but obviously no one refused. Congress leaders and Jignesh Mevani, independent MLA, accepted the hike.
Mevani accepts hike, but criticizes government's policy
Accepting the hike, Mevani said, "The BJP-ruled government is outsourcing the hiring of Class IV employees including sweepers and giving them petty salaries. I register my opposition here, with the demand that their salaries also be increased."
Hike should have been revised more, feels Congress MLA
Deputy Leader of Opposition, Shailesh Parmar said this hike would give Congress leaders a 'respectable position' in the Assembly. He said MLAs made less than junior-most Class I officers. "In fact, the salary should have been revised even more to bring it on a par with that of secretary-level government officers," he told DNA. The last time salary was revised was in April 2009.