The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed a Bill on Tuesday, which proposes to nearly double the salaries of ministers, legislators, the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Leader of Opposition and Chief Whip, with effect from April 1.
With this, the salaries and allowances of ministers will now increase from Rs 55,000 to Rs 90,000, and the salaries of MLAs will increase from Rs 39,500 to Rs 70,000.
Apart from the hike, a provision to reimburse flight tickets has been introduced through an amendment. MLAs now get Rs 50,000 a year to purchase flight tickets within the country, which can be used to attend Assembly sessions and committee meetings.
This revision comes on the recommendations of Justice JM James Commission. The last revision was made in 2012.
“During the last five years, the prices of all commodities, including petrol, diesel and electricity have increased manifold,” the Bill stated in its statement of objects and reasons.
As per the revisions in the Bill, the constituency allowance of legislators will increase from Rs 12,000 a month to Rs 25,000 per month. For ministers, it will increase from Rs 12,000 to Rs 40,000. Further, the reimbursement for phone bills has risen from Rs 7,500 to Rs 11,000, and office allowance has increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000.
A separate Bill to increase the pension amount of former MLAs by Rs 1,000 was also adopted. The maximum pension to which a member is eligible in the aggregate was fixed at Rs 50,000 per month from the existing Rs 35,000.
These revisions will cost the state an additional amount of Rs 5.25 crore per year.