West Bengal: It's an ecstatic moment for the MLAs of West Bengal as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced a hike of Rs 40,000 per month in their salaries. Banerjee, apart from the announcement also said that there will be no revision in the salary of the chief minister as she has not been drawing any salary for a long time.
"The salary of MLAs of the West Bengal Assembly is much less than that of other states. So, it has been decided that their monthly salaries will be hiked by Rs 40,000. The MLAs used to get 10,000, ministers of state used to get 10,900 and ministers in-charge Rs 11,000. Now, they will get 50,000, 50,900 and 51,000 per month," she said.
After a major announcement in the West Bengal assembly, the Chief Minister didn't give a breakup of the actual salaries of the lawmakers after the hike including all allowances and extra pay as members of the various standing committees.
Salary of CM will remain unchanged
"After the salary increase, the salary of the West Bengal Chief Minister will remain unchanged in the new structure," she said. Soon after the major announcement by the Chief Minister, West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee said it doesn't set a good precedent that "salaries of MLA got increased, but the salary of the chief minister remains unchanged."
West Bengal Assembly Speaker requests Banerjee for salary correction
"Everyone's salary is being hiked, but the chief minister did not take a hike. We all know you don't draw your salary; that's your magnanimity. But considering future circumstances, salary correction is needed. Considering the future, let your salary be increased officially. Otherwise, it doesn't look good. I request that your allowance be increased as well," the Speaker requested, which was politely declined by the chief minister. Following this, several ministers and MLAs praised the chief minister for the salary hike.
Ministers praises CM for hike
"We are grateful to the chief minister for understanding the problems of MLAs and ministers. The salary of a minister or MLA is one of the lowest in the country," senior TMC Minister Manas Bhunia said.
According to TMC ministers, an MLA draws around 81,000, including all allowances and extra pay for attending standing committee meetings and the House when it is in session. A minister gets approximately Rs 1.10 lakh, including allowances. BJP chief whip Manoj Tigga said the BJP legislative party would have been happy had the state government announced a salary hike for state government employees, ASHA and tea garden workers.