New Delhi: A Delhi Assembly committee on Wednesday recommended the formation of an "expert panel" to decide on the salaries and allowances of MLAs, whose current structure it said was "highly inadequate" to meet the minimum requirements of an "honest" lawmaker.
Earlier in July, the AAP had seen sharp divisions within the party over the issue of pay hike of legislators following several MLAs voicing the demand citing difficulties in meeting up with their expenses.
The government termed it a "first" wherein elected representatives have voluntarily left it to an expert panel to decide on revision of their pay and allowances despite being "constitutionally entitled" to decide the pay revision for themselves.
"MLAs have decided to set an example of not deciding on their salaries on their own," an official statement said.
It said that the 'Committee on Salary and Allowances of the Members of Legislative Assembly', headed by AAP's Karol Bagh MLA Vishesh Ravi, in its meeting also made a comparison with salary structures that are in force in different states.
"The Committee unanimously concluded that though the prevailing salary and allowances in Delhi are highly inadequate to meet the basic minimum requirements of an honest and performing Legislator in discharging his/her duties, it will not be appropriate on the part of MLAs to decide on the revision in their pay structure on their own," it said.
Accordingly, the Committee entrusted Speaker Ram Niwas Goel to constitute the panel consisting of experts in the area of deciding salary structures and those who have "thorough understanding" of the functioning of a Legislator.