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Kerala Cabinet approves draft bill to hike the salaries of MLAs and Ministers in the state

The Kerala cabinet has approved the draft bill which will hike the salaries of ministers of and MLAs in the state. The bill is expected to be tabled on the 20th of March. The salaries of the Ministers will go up from Rs 55,012 to Rs 90,300 and for the MLAs, it will go up from Rs 39,500 to Rs 62,000.

Kerala cabinet has given approval to the drafting bill which will see a hike in the salaries of Ministers and MLAs. The bill is expected to be tabled in the assembly on March 20.

The travel allowance has also been increased from Rs 10 per kilometre to Rs. 15 per kilometre. The salary hike will be effective from next month onward. The salary reforms bill was formulated on the basis of recommendations made by the Justice JM James Commission.

Communist leaders in the past have vociferously opposed salary hikes by the Union Cabinet on the grounds that politicians should not be deciding their own remuneration. “At no other place in the country, you have beneficiaries deciding on the increase of their own salary,” CPI-M leader Brinda Karat had said in when the Union Cabinet had proposed a salary hike in 2010. Recently, after Arun Jaitley had stated that the salaries of MPs will now be indexed to inflation and automatically increase every 5 years, the Left had voiced their opposition the proposed hike. Sitaram Yechury had said, “I have always been opposed to the idea the MPs themselves get to decide their own salary, which is politically immoral. The salaries of the MPs should be indexed to the highest-paid bureaucrat, with a rupee added. This is just to distinguish between the two because the MPs are lawmakers and bureaucrats implement it.”

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It will be interesting to see if any leaders from the Left criticize the Left government’s bill in Kerala to hike the salaries of the MLAs and Ministers in the state. Otherwise, it will appear immensely hypocritical of the Left to criticize salary hikes when proposed by others while maintaining silence when its own government does the same.

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