The Punjab government on Saturday notified legislation that allows legislators to pension for a single term, ending the multiple pensions they have been receiving for multiple terms so far, with Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann saying the state will save 100 crores of rupees in five years. .
The Punjab State Legislature Members Amendment Bill (Pensions and Medical Institutions Regulations) was notified after Governor Banwarilal Purohit gave his assent on Friday.
“I am very happy to inform Punjabis that the Governor has given his assent to the One MLA-One Pension Bill. The government has issued a notification,” Mann said.
He said the move would revolutionize and reform the country’s political system, Mann said. “This is a humble initiative by the AAP government to fulfill the dreams of our freedom fighters and national heroes,” he said, adding that the state government is expected to save about 19.53 crores of rupees per year thanks to this move.
The Punjab Assembly had passed the Punjab State Legislative Assembly (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulations) Amendment Bill 2022 on June 30. It aims to provide pensions to members of the state assembly for a single term at the new rate of 60,000 months plus dearness allowance. According to the government, each legislator would receive 75,150 rupees per month. Previously, some former lawmakers received pensions as high as Rs 3 lakh per month.
With this notification, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Cheema said there would be no more “free ke revdi” (gifts) for leaders.
“No more ‘Free ki Revdi’ for Netas! When Punjab was reeling from extreme financial distress, MPs under previous governments were granted several pensions. Led by CM @BhagwantMann this is coming to an end,” Cheema said in a tweet.
Later, in a statement published here, Mann said, “Our great freedom fighters had dreamed of a classless democracy where elected representatives will work as true servants of the people and ensure their well-being.
“But over the past 75 years, these elected officials have transformed themselves into political cadres by drawing extravagant salaries and pensions from the public treasury,” he said.
Mann said the entire burden of the facility given to these leaders was covered by taxpayers’ money. “Their money was misused to line the pockets of these leaders instead of being used for public welfare,” he said.
Mann said MPs entered politics voluntarily to serve people, so they have no moral responsibility to claim multiple pensions in exchange for that service.
AAP MP Raghav Chadha hailed the Mann government’s decision. “Former Punjab governments with dishonest interests emptied the public treasury and lined their own pockets by exploiting ‘One MLA Multiple Pensions’. Losing the elections would result in profits for the ex-deputies! Today Mann Govt introduced ‘One MLA One Pension’ to save crores of treasury rupees,” Chadha said in a tweet.
Earlier, the governor refused to give his assent to an order limiting lawmakers’ multiple pensions saying it would have to be introduced as a bill in the Vidhan Sabha’s budget session. On June 30, the Vidhan Sabha passed the bill.
The delay in the Governor’s assent caused a loss of a few crores to the Treasury, as former MPs were able to obtain several pensions for the months of May, June and July.
After taking over the reins of the state, Chief Minister Mann said lawmakers would only get one pension. To enforce this rule, the government had amended clause 3(1) of the “Members of the Punjab State Legislature (Regulation of Pensions and Medical Institutions) Act 1977”.
Punjab lawmakers receive a basic pension of Rs 15,000 per month. On this, they receive 50% of the DP (merger of the dearness allowance (DA) and the basic pension carried out on April 1, 2004), and a DA of 234%. Similarly, for each additional term, they receive a basic pension of Rs 10,000, as well as DP and DA. The 234% DA was however not increased after December 31, 2016, following a decision by the Congress government led by Amarinder Singh.
However, when an ex-MP reaches the age of 65, 75 and 80, he will be entitled to an increase of 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 15 per cent respectively of the basic pension, which is eligible for him / she reached that age.
When tabling the Bill, Opposition Leader Partap Bajwa had said that where an MP is above the chief secretary in protocol, an MP’s pension should be equal to that received by the secretary. chief. Chief Minister Mann had said that a government official becomes eligible for a pension after serving for at least 20 years. “A young man who becomes an MP at 27 becomes eligible for a pension just after five years. In such a scenario, it is unfair to equate the two,” Mann said.