Shimla, Sep 11
Himachal Pradesh Assembly today passed a bill to cut down the Salaries and Allowances of Chief Minister, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Ministers, Chief Whip and MLAs and other government appointees by 30 per cent for the period of one year.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur who had also portfolio of Finance said that Governor of Himachal Pradesh promulgated HP Regulation of Salaries & Allowances of different categories in Certain Exigencies Ordinance 2020 on April 11 , this year.
The new legislation HP Regulation of Salaries & Allowances of different categories in Certain Exigencies Bill 2020 would replace the ordinance. He said that legislation was proposed to cut down the salaries and allowance by 30 Per cent of Ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip, Members of Assembly , Chairmen and vice- Chiarmen of Boards and Corporations and other political appointees for the period of one years with effect from April 1, 2020.
He said that the legislations become necessary to raise resources by reduction in the salaries & allowances and Sumptuary allowances to manage and control burgeoning situation emerged due to Covid -19 pandemic .Chief Minister shall be entitled to receive Rs 90,000 rupees per month, Cabinet Minister & Chief whip Rs 80,000, Minister of State & Deputy Minister 7 Deputy Chief whip Rs 75000.
Similarly each minister shall be entitled to Rs 90,000 Sumptuary allowance per month. Speaker Rs 80,000 & Rs 95000, Deputy Speaker RS 75000 & 95000 per month. Member of Assembly Rs 55000 salaries and 5000 compensatory allowance and Constituency and other allowances Rs 90,000.
Earlier taking part in discussion Congress Member Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and CPI(M) Rakesh Singha moved the amendment in the bill seeking to increase the cut down in the salary and announced from 30 to 50 per cent. Sukhu said that member of the house are expected to come forward by increasing the reduction in salaries by 50 per cent. He said that the state Government drafted the legislation and already implemented the members of assembly are expected to surrender their salaries.
He said that employees and common man are offering their contribution by donating liberally and members of the house should also show similar spirit. Singha said that he supported the amendment of Sukhu but he could not ask anyone or press the issue. He said that when people who have deposited the money in banks for their future needs like health and other requirements are coming forward by donating in the CM and PM Care funds expected the members to opt for bill.
Sukhu draw the attention of the house to alarming situation due to Covid that Employees of Himahal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation are not being paid for last two months and are serving without pay in the assembly. BJP member Col. Inder Singh said that Sukhu had raised the pertinent issue but every member of house are not in the position to surrender the 50 pc salaries. Narinder Thakur of BJP said that if members want to surrender salaries many of them are so well off that they could donate entire salaries for the cause.
Replying to the discussion of the bill Chief Minister said that the Covid pandemic is wreaking havoc in the international level as many well off countries are today facing burnt of the pandemic and struggling to cope up with the COVID situations. No nation is free from its worst effects and ruined the world economy. He accepted that India and Himachal are equally affected by the pandemic and dealing with it by creating health resources and providing relief to the affected people.
Chief Minister said that employees of state have contributed to the chief minister Covid funds and members of house are also coming forward to the cause. He said that government came up with the legislation to cut 30 per cent salaries and allowances which is enough at this stage. The amendment brought by Sukhu is appreciated but the government considers that it is not essential at this stage.
Later the house passed the bill unanimously in original form as the Opposition members decided to withdraw the amendments.