Prime News, Karnataka, Finance, Bengaluru, September 23:- The Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday (September 22) passed a bill to reduce salaries and allowances of members of the state legislature by 30 per cent for a year to augment financial resources required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state expects to save somewhere between Rs 16 crore to Rs 18 crore by this exercise, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said, while moving the “Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances and Certain Other Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020” to effect the changes.
“In the wake of COVID-19, we discussed with leaders of our party and also the Opposition that as a gesture, ministers, MLAs and MLCs, heads of authorities, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker should agree to a 30 per cent salary cut,” Madhuswamy told the Assembly.
Appreciating the move, Arkalgud JD(S) MLA A T Ramaswamy demanded to know how the government-approved hike in salaries of judicial officers during the pandemic when the state was facing a financial crunch.
“During this coronavirus period, the state is facing financial problems. It is our duty to rush aid for relief work. However, should this law be applicable to all or only to the Karnataka Legislature?” Ramaswamy asked the Law Minister.
He alleged that judicial officers in Karnataka had on their own, hiked their salaries and then the government gave its nod.
“Is this appropriate? Has the government lost its strength? Without seeking your consent, without the approval of the legislature, if they hike their salaries and you give your nod later, are they above the law or the Constitution? You need to clarify on this,” Ramaswamy said.
To this, Madhuswamy said he was not in a position to immediately give an answer as he did not have the facts. He, however, assured Ramaswamy that he would gather the information and provide it to him. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)