Tripura to hike salaries of ministers, legislators

Agartala, Sep 26 (IANS) A bill proposing a 50 percent increase in the salaries of the chief minister, ministers, opposition leader and legislators was moved in the Tripura assembly Thursday.

Presenting the bill on the first day of the three-day monsoon session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Tapan Chakraborty said the increase in the salaries, allowances and pensions was overdue.

"The salaries, allowances and pensions of the chief minister, ministers, opposition leader, chief whip and legislators were last increased in 2009. In view of the increase in prices of various essentials and commodities, it has now become expedient to enhance the financial benefits," he added.

The minister said that due to the financial constraints of the state, the bill limits the proposal to a nominal enhancement of their salaries, allowances and pensions.

Citing the bill's provisions, a parliamentary affairs department officials said: "Salaries of the chief minister would be increased from Rs.12,500 to Rs.18,750. Salaries of the speaker, ministers, chief whip and leader of opposition would be increased from Rs.12,300 to Rs.18,450 while those of the legislators would go up from Rs.11,500 to Rs.17,250."

The salary of the deputy speaker and ministers of state would go up from Rs.12,000 to Rs.18,000.

A former legislator would now get a monthly pension ranging from Rs.12,150 to Rs.15,190 instead of Rs.8,100 to Rs.10,125 depending on the length of membership in the legislative assembly.

Various allowances, including the sumptuary allowance of the chief minister, ministers, opposition leader, chief whip and legislators have also been raised.

The opposition Congress has for long been demanding an increase in the salaries, allowances and pensions at par with their counterparts of other states in the country.

"It is very pitiable that in Left-ruled Tripura, the chief minister, ministers, legislators and other people's representatives are getting the lowest salary and allowances in India," senior Congress legislator Ratanlal Nath told IANS.

"If the public representative do not get a minimum required salaries and allowances, it would encourage corruption, fraud and other negligence," Nath said.

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