In the newly formed state, where several debt-ridden farmers have ended their lives since June, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had amidst strong criticism last year had announced that the salaries of all lawmakers will be doubled.
He seemed to have lived up to the promise. The Telangana Assembly unanimously passed a bill to effect hike in salaries of the legislators. The Telangana Payment of Salaries and Pensions and Removal of Disqualifications(Amendment) Bill-2016 was passed, as per a recommendation of the Committee on Amenities of the Telangana Legislature which met on March 21. It is estimated that the hike would cause an expenditure of Rs 42.67 crore per annum.
Legislature Affairs Minister T Harish Rao, who moved the bill, said the hike is being made as per requests made to the government in last one-and-half year by MLAs and MLCs. The bill was being moved on the request of majority of the parties.
Observing that the hike is necessary for people like him who came from humble background, Congress member Sampath Kumar said his party welcomed the bill. BJP member Ch Ramachandra Reddy sought a hike in the vehicle loan.
On the occasion, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said the economic dynamics have undergone a sea change over the years.
He noted that the legislators have to attend a number of meetings of the government, zilla parishad and others, besides taking care of number of visitors everyday.
They also have to bear the costs involved in travelling within the constituency, to the district head quarters and also the state capital city, he said. He also made an appeal to the media to understand the prevailing situation. The estimated expenditure of Rs 42 crores does not constitute even the perceptible percentage of the state budget (of more than Rs one lakh crore), he said. (Agencies)