Hyderabad: Legislators from Telangana State are the highest-paid compared to their counterparts from all other states, including by way of salaries and allowances.
While a Telangana MLA takes home a cool Rs 2.50 lakh every month, an MLA from Tripura draws a measly Rs 17,500. A legislator from Delhi commands the next highest at Rs 2.10 lakh while those from Andhra Pradesh draw a monthly salary of Rs 1.30 lakh.
Telangana MLAs shot to the top of the ladder in 2016 when the state government hiked their pay and allowances by an overwhelming 163 per cent in one go.
Apart from these, family members of an MLA are entitled for a host of other benefits. Each legislator gets an accommodation allowance of Rs 25,000 per month if he does not stay in MLAs hostel. Accommodation, and water and electricity supplies are free in MLA quarters.
They enjoy massive concessions and benefits when they travel by trains or TSRTC buses. MLAs are eligible for a car advance of Rs 30 lakh or the actual cost of the vehicle, whichever is less, in each term.
MLAs and their family members are entitled to free accommodation and treatment in any hospital maintained by the state government. Hospitalisation and treatment charges incurred by them, including abroad, are duly reimbursed.
An MLA can appoint a personal assistant on deputation from any one of 13 departments up to the cadre of senior assistant. The PA will draw salary from the parent department.
Legislators from the state also draw substantial amounts as monthly pension up to a maximum of Rs 70,000.
The spouse of a deceased MLA, who is not married, will be entitled to receive the same amount of the pension, which the MLA would have been entitled to if alive.
However, there are conflicting arguments on whether MLAs deserve such high salaries and allowances. They have also drawn all-round ridicule from certain quarters.
"Contrary to general perceptions not all MLAs are rich. Many from BC, SC, ST and minority categories are poor. Many former legislators approach the government and NGOs for financial support," pointed out R. Krishnaiah, former MLA.
"There should be a rationale. When MLAs in other states can work for less than Rs 20,000 per month, why should those from Telangana get Rs 2.50 lakh?" asked M. Padmanabha Reddy, secretary of Forum for Good Governance....