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Cash-strapped Pb plans to hike MLAs’ pension

November 01, 2019 06:17 AM


Cash-strapped Pb plans to hike MLAs’ pension


Just three years after the SAD-BJP government in Punjab had increased the pension of former MLAs, the incumbent cash-strapped Congress government wants to hike their pension again.

The Amarinder government has proposed to hike pension of former one-term legislators by Rs 7,000. They currently get Rs 15,000 and the state government proposes increase this amount to Rs 22,000.

For each subsequent term, former legislators get Rs 10,000 apart from Rs 15,000 fixed for the first term. The state government aims to increase this amount to Rs 13,500, it is learnt.

Former MLAs also get dearness allowance on their monthly pension.

Hike to add over ₹10 crore per annum burden on exchequer

The state government’s move is expected to put an additional burden of over Rs 10 crore per annum on the exchequer, according to sources. Around 282 former MLAs are drawing pension in Punjab, of which around 130 are getting the pension for more than one served term.

To increase pension, the state government will have to amend The Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977. The case has been sent to the finance department for its comments and is likely to be placed before the council of ministers in the cabinet meeting scheduled on Friday.

In September 2016, the Punjab legislative assembly had passed The Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016, to affect an increase in the pension of former MLAs. At the time, pension of on-term MLAs was increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 and the amount for each subsequent term was increased from Rs 7,500 to Rs 10,000.

Interestingly, MLAs in Punjab are entitled to pension even if they have served for a single day during the 5-year term. When a former legislator turns 65 years old, 75 years and 80 years, they are entitled to an increase of 5%, 10% and 15% in the basic pension, respectively. However, the former MLAs are not entitled to pension in respect of the term for which they are disqualified by the court under the provisions of The Representation of The People Act. The former MLAs are also entitled to full reimbursement of actual expenses on outdoor and indoor medical treatment for themselves and for their family members

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