Hyderabad: Andhra legislators never had it so good - apart from a huge jump in their salaries and perks, each one has been gifted a wide range of electronic goods from laptops to mobile phones.
It was a bonanza for each of the 294 members of the Assembly and 90 members of the Legislative Council. On the last day of the Budget Session, the Legislature passed a bill hiking their salaries and allowances by about 150 percent.
The basic monthly pay has gone up from Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,000 while allowances have been increased from Rs 36,800 to Rs 83,000. After this hike, each legislator will get up to Rs 95,000 per month.
In addition, every member will get railway coupons worth Rs 70,000.
Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), Road Transport Corporation (RTC), Housing Corporation and Girijan Cooperatives will also present special gift vouchers to the legislators.
This is not all. Every member of Assembly will get a laptop, printer, scanner, iPad and Samsung Galaxy mobile phone.
The pension of former legislators and legislative councillors has also been increased to Rs 15,000. This will be Rs 20,000 for legislators who served two terms and Rs 25,000 for three terms.
The salaries and allowances were hiked on the basis of recommendation of the amenities committee of the legislature. The panel recommended the hike in view of the increased cost of living. The last hike was six years ago.
The members wanted a three-fold increase in their salaries and allowances but Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar advised them not to seek an unreasonable hike. He pointed out to them that nowhere in the country were the legislators receiving a monthly pay of Rs 100,000.