According to the sources, the Delhi government had proposed Rs 2.10 lakh for the MLAs per month, including salary and other allowances. However, with the home ministry not agreeing to this, Delhi MLAs will continue to receive a very meagre salary compared to their counterparts in other states. Delhi has a high cost of living.
“The MLAs of states ruled by BJP and Congress earn around one-and-a-half to double of what the Delhi MLAs earn,” said the sources, claiming that the proposal for a hike was pending with the MHA for the past five years.
They said the salary (besides allowances) of Delhi’s MLAs has not increased in the past 10 years. It had been hiked to Rs 54,000 in November 2011 and has not been revised since then though inflation has increased dramatically.
This had prompted the Aam Aadmi Party government to start the process of salary revision. It proposed a salary hike and a bill was passed in the Delhi assembly in December 2015 seeking Rs 2.10 lakh as salary and allowances for the MLAs. The LG returned the file to the government because it did not have the LG’s required prior approval. The government then moved a fresh proposal, seeking the LG’s approval for a salary hike. The LG forwarded the proposal to the MHA which has responded by capping the total amount at Rs 90,000, according to these sources.
An official said that the salary hike proposal has to go through a long route. “If the proposal gets the cabinet’s approval, it will be sent to the LG. It will need the approval of the LG before it is presented in the assembly as a financial bill. The salary hike will be implemented only after the assembly passes the financial bill and the LG approves it,” said a source.
A comparison with other states shows how poorly paid the Delhi MLAs are. Those in Uttarakhand get Rs 2.04 lakh; in Telangana Rs 2.5 lakh; in Karnataka Rs 1.65 lakh; in Andhra Pradesh Rs 1.75 lakh; in Goa Rs 1.99 lakh and in Bihar Rs 1.35 lakh.
The salary and allowances of the MLAs of Delhi have been capped by the MHA at Rs 90,000 per month (salary Rs 30,000; constituency allowance Rs 25,000; secretarial allowance Rs 15,000; telephone allowance Rs 10,000; and conveyance allowance Rs 10,000).
Many states provide many other perks and allowances to their MLAs, which the Delhi government doesn’t provide. These are for house rent, office rent, staff expenses, office equipment, vehicle and driver etc.