Shimla, Mar 15
Congress legislative party leader raised the issue of publication of news about the pecuniary benefits to Rs four lakh for MLA by hiking the provisions of travelling allowances by the State Government. This issue figured after the question hour as Congress member Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu raising the matter through a point of order showcased a newspaper in the house, saying that it had carried a news item that the travelling allowance of members of assembly increased to Rs four lakh. Sukhu said that the Government should make it clear if the DA or TA limit has been enhanced or not. He said that this hype or sensation is eroding the image of MLAs and their institutions.
The Congress member highlighted that the salary of IAS has increased up to 3.50 lakh and that of a doctor to Rs three lakh on the recommendation of 6th pay commission. Whereas the basic pay of MLA is equal to an Assistant which is only Rs 55000. The member demanded that those who tried to create hype against the MLAs should have been taken into Cognizance.
Also, demanding action on the issue Asha Kumari of Congress said that the Chief Minister has stated that no amount has been enhanced as alleged in the news portal.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said that the Government is facing undue wrath of the people as this issue was blown out of proportion. He said that Rs 4 lakh were being provided for the MLAs however 90 per cent of the members of the assembly were not using it. He said that three years ago there were provisions of Rs 2.50 lakh in the accommodation of members outside the state and his government has increased it to Rs four lakh.
He said that the image of the MLAs should not be tarnished in the eyes of public. The Chief Minister said that no such provisions were made in the cabinet meeting. This is eroding the image of MLAs institutions. He said that no DA and TA was increased by the government.
He said that many times MLAs go outside the state and they do not find room in Himachal Bhavana and Sadan. The provisions have been made for MLAs to get Rs 7500 worth room in such a case. He said that the former Congress government hiked the DA -TA upto Rs 2.50 lakh which was increased upto four lakh in the last four years however no hike was being done in the fresh provisions by the state. The Chief Minister said that 90 per cent of MLAs are not able to spend the earmarked amount on the existing provisions of Rs four lakh per annum. Speaker of Vidhan Sabha Vipin Parmar said that he would take cognizance in the matter if these news items have been published in a news portal, electronic and print media.