Explore the complex landscape of legislator compensation in India, where MLA salaries vary significantly among states, influenced by factors like state wealth, legislative size, and local politics. Discover how recent changes in West Bengal's MLA salaries sparked a nationwide debate on the issue


West Bengal recently increased MLA salaries significantly, sparking a nationwide debate about the complex landscape of legislator compensation in India. West Bengal went from having one of the lowest MLA salaries to a middle-tier position as a result of this move. However, this problem extends beyond West Bengal, as MLA pay varies greatly across the country.

India's MLA Salary Complexity

Last week, West Bengal made headlines by announcing a significant salary hike for its Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), raising their monthly earnings to Rs 1.21 lakh. This increase catapulted West Bengal from having the third lowest MLA salaries in the country to now ranking as the 12th lowest. However, the confusion of MLA salaries extends far beyond the borders of West Bengal.

In India, state governments set their own salaries and allowances for legislators. Chief ministers, Cabinet ministers, and opposition leaders are typically paid more than regular MLAs. Salaries are adjusted to account for inflation on a regular basis, typically through amendments to the Salaries and Allowances Act, which are frequently recommended by committees.

MLAs receive allowances for constituency work, hiring aides, phone bills, government housing, nationwide travel privileges, medical facility access, and vehicle loan financing.

MLA Salary Disparities in India

India's MLA salaries show significant disparity, with Jharkhand leading with the highest at Rs 2.9 lakh per month, followed by Maharashtra at Rs 2.6 lakh, Telangana and Manipur at Rs 2.5 lakh each.

Kerala has the lowest MLA salary in India at Rs 70,000, while Delhi, despite a 67% increase in salaries last year, still ranks fourth in India. Uttar Pradesh spends Rs 90.4 crore annually on MLA salaries, primarily due to its large number of MLAs, while Puducherry's House has only Rs 4.2 crore. Here is the table listing the incomes of MLAs across different states. 

State

Salary for the Elected MLAs (Per month)

Telangana

2,50,000

Uttar Pradesh

Rs.1,87,000

Andhra Pradesh

Rs.1,30,000

Delhi

Rs.2,10,000

Maharashtra

Rs.1,50,000

Himachal Pradesh

Rs.1,25,000

Tamil Nadu

Rs.1,13,000

Madhya Pradesh

Rs.1,10,000

Haryana

Rs.1,15,000

Jharkhand

Rs.1,11,000

Chattisgarh

Rs.1,10,000

Goa

Rs.1,00,000

Punjab

Rs.1,00,000

West Bengal

Rs.96,000

Bihar

Rs.1,00,000

Karnataka

Rs.47,000

Gujarat

Rs.47,000

Sikkim 

Rs.52,000

Rajasthan

Rs.40,000

Kerala

Rs.42,000

Odisha

Rs.30,000

Uttarakhand

Rs.35,000

Arunachal Pradesh

Rs.25,000

Manipur

Rs.18,500

Meghalaya

Rs.28,000

Nagaland

Rs.18,000

Tripura

Rs.17,500

Assam

Rs.20,000


MLA Salaries vs. State Wealth

Larger legislatures like Kerala, Assam, and Punjab maintain low monthly expenditures, while Jharkhand and Manipur plan to spend more annually after new salaries are approved. The national average monthly salary for MLAs across all states is Rs 1.5 lakh, which is significantly less than the Centre's monthly expenditure of Rs 2.7 lakh per MLA.

Surprisingly, no clear relationship exists between a state's per capita income and MLA salaries. In terms of MLA salaries, Bihar, India's poorest state in terms of per capita income, ranks tenth. Meanwhile, Goa, which has one of the highest per capita incomes, is among the states with the lowest MLA salaries. 

The study reveals that the wealthiest assemblies tend to offer lower salaries, with outliers like Karna showing higher average assets. The MLA salary landscape in India is influenced by factors like state wealth, legislative size, and local politics, causing a dynamic and evolving issue in Indian governance.

Finally, the wide range of MLA salaries in India reflects a complex interplay of factors such as state wealth, legislative size, and political dynamics. Salary disparities between states highlight the need for a more standardized and equitable approach. Addressing these variations in MLA compensation remains an important challenge as India's governance evolves.

Also read, Aditi Gupta: Empowering Through Menstrupedia

 

imgg

Search Anything...!