The Karnataka government, in a drastic move, has decided to stop the payment of 21 MLAs since they were getting paid twice – the second paycheck was coming from state-government owned boards or corporations where they have been appointed as chairpersons.
The existing rules do not allow public servants to draw salaries from the government twice. The rule, however, has been overlooked in most cases as lawmakers, who cannot be accommodated in the cabinet are appointed as chairmen to various corporations and boards, which are mostly salaried posts.
The Congress government of Siddaramaiah took this decision after the vigilant accounts wing of the state secretariat raised their discomfort with this culture.The government would reportedly work towards recovering the money drawn by the 21 lawmakers who were getting double salary.
After the move was taken, several lawmakers have claimed they were not drawing salary from the state legislature.
“I am drawing salary only from the Department not as an MLA. I am not collecting any money from them. It is the best decision,” N Y Gopalkrishna, the lawmaker from Bellary said, as reports NDTV.
Lawmakers in Karnataka draw a salary of Rs. 65,000 per month with various allowances. Additionally they can claim constituency travel allowance upto Rs. 25,000 per month.
The complaint about low salaries exists across party lines at both state and Central levels. Recently, the Tamil Nadu lawmakers have proposed a hefty hike, which was yet to be sanctioned by the President.
These lawmakers are the gatekeepers of law and order in our country. And, in a country like India which is fraught with corruption, it is the government officials who have to come forward and walk that extra mile to make the commoners feel assured that their electoral mandates have gone to the right people.
The Logical Indian appreciates the move taken by the Siddaramaiah government where the extra salaries of the MLAs have been stopped. This step by the state government should act as a precedent and similar actions should be taken in other states as well.