The Gujarat assembly passed a bill on 19th September to increase MLAs’ monthly salaries by a whopping Rs 45,000.
The salaries will increase from Rs. 70,727 to Rs. 1,16,316 to be precise, with an enormous hike of Rs. 45,589 (more than 65% hike). The ministers, speaker and deputy speaker would get Rs. 1.32 lakh as compared to their present salary of Rs. 80,000 (60% hike)
The changes should come into force from 22nd December 2017 with lawmakers receiving new salary credit with retrospective effect in arrears. Not just the salaries but the daily allowances of Gujarat MLAs will also see an increase from Rs. 200 to Rs. 1000 (5 times)
Gujarat was one of the last states where assembly elections took place in December last year. Currently, there are 182 elected members in the Assembly, of which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 99 seats in total.
Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani said,
“This will help me pay more to even the peon working at my office. But at the same time, the government should also end contract and fixed pay system and hire youths on permanent basis.”
Farmer Loan Waiver – Gujarat
The opposition Congress in Gujarat on Tuesday had upped its protest against the BJP government over the issue of loan waiver for farmers.
The protest by the party came a few days after pro-quota leader Hardik Patel ended his indefinite hunger strike. One of his demands was loan waiver, as quoted by The Week. However, the farmers have no respite yet from the government.
Petrol Price Hike – Gujarat
In Gujarat petrol prices have crossed Rs. 80 per litre. Ruling out any possibility of reduction in tax in near future, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Friday said that the Gujarat Government had reduced VAT around 10 months back on petrol and diesel and now taking 20 per cent tax.
Chief Minister of neighbouring Rajasthan has announced a 4 per cent point reduction in VAT on the two important petroleum products earlier this week. In Rajasthan VAT on petrol will be reduced from 30 per cent to 26 per cent and on diesel from 22 per cent to 18 per cent. It must be noted that Rajasthan is up for Assembly elections end of 2018 and this has been seen as a gesture of appeasement by the only BJP ruled state.
Congress ruled Punjab and Karnataka too reportedly planning to reduce VAT on petroleum products. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have also lowered VAT on fuels. The fuel prices have been slashed by Rs 2 by all these states.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had instructed the finance department last week to consider reducing fuel prices. It is said the instructions were passed on after he reviewed resource mobilisation across the state following the announcement of the farm loan waiver, sources told India Times.