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MLAs' pay hike slashed by Rs 8k

From Staff Correspondent
Shillong, Oct 11: The Meghalaya government on Wednesday agreed on the proposed ordinance to reduce the salary of the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) by Rs 8,000.
Announcing this soon after the Cabinet meeting held at the State Secretariat here, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Martin M Danggo said the decision will nullify the amendment Act passed in the budget session this year.
It was barely six months ago that an amendment pertaining to the hiking of MLAs salary and allowance was brought and endorsed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. As per the amendment, the pay slip of each MLA amounts to Rs 2,10,000 per month.
“With this ordinance, the salary and perks of the legislators will come down by Rs 8,000,” stated Danggo, while adding that the views of the legislators have been taken into account before arriving at the decision.
Asked on the reason for the decision when the State government is about to revise the salaries of its employees, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma stepped in to answer. “This is no political angle to it, but a move aimed at adhering to certain technicalities. The step has been taken to maintain the balance of the fiscal procedures,” the Chief Minister clarified.
Pressed further whether the State government was indulging in some political one-upmanship ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled next year, Sangma said, “Which politician doesn’t act upon anything that will also create positive perception in respect of the party? Certain decisions that are good should not be considered as an election gimmick, irrespective of whether the party is in power or not.”
“Irrespective of the timing, what is good has to be decided. But if every correct and good decision is given a motive and interpreted as an election gimmick, this is wrong. Every day is important. The mandate is for five years and we take decisions for the larger interest of the State,” asserted Sangma.