In a rare situation of unanimity in the UP Assembly, all the MLAs were speaking the same tone when it came to the matter of their perks and salaries. The otherwise always fighting legislation, came to one and single opinion that among other things in the budget, their ‘salary hike’ is really urgent, so that they can offer ‘tea and snacks’ to the visitors.
Believe it or not? This has happened in the assembly house which has 67% of its members as crorepatis. In a recent report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), which was compiled on the basis of affidavits submitted prior to the 2012 assembly polls, the total number of millionaires is almost 67% of the total house strength. This figure comes out to be approximately 271 crorepatis (multi millionaires) among 403 members.
Of the total number of multi millionaires, the maximum crorepatis belong to the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), the number being 140 which is followed by the BSP at 63, the BJP at 32, the Congress at 18 and the Rashtriya Lok Dal at 7. Nawab Qazim Ali and Sanjay Jaiswal of Congress, Subhash of SP, Noor Rana of BSP and Vimla Singh of BJP are the prominent among them.
When all of them travel in their swanky SUVs, this urgent demand for salary hike had taken the visitors by surprise. Although, the last revision was made in 2010, the legislators currently get the following:
- Basic pay of Rs 8,000,
- Constituency allowance of Rs 22,000
- Secretarial and Medical allowance each of Rs 10,000
- Free rail travel of Rs 125,000 in a year
- Monthly telephone bill of Rs 6,000
(However, the Cabinet ministers, junior ministers and the speaker and the deputy speaker, get more benefits in addition to this)
This is a moot question however, whether this demand will be acceded to or not by the legislation, but the Chief Minister of the state seems to be open to the idea, although the consultative process with the finance department is under way.