Bengaluru: Amidst the row over RDPR Minister K.S. Eswharappa’s controversial remarks against which the Opposition Congress staged day and night dharna inside the Assembly for five days demanding the Minister’s sacking, the Legislature Session on Tuesday was adjourned three days before the scheduled date (Feb.25). Following the adjournment, both the Houses would meet again for the Budget session starting on Mar.4, the day on which Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds the Finance portfolio, would table the State budget.
Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said that the State Legislative Assembly functioned properly only on two days and five days were lost due to dharna by Congress members seeking the resignation of Eshwarappa for his reported remarks that the saffron flag could in future fly in place of the Tricolor at Red Fort.
Maintaining that he had convened 6-7meetings with leaders of both the Opposition Congress and the ruling BJP, Kageri said that all his efforts went in vain and the Congress members’ continued protest repeatedly interrupted the conduct of business.
Meanwhile, the Legislative Council on Tuesday passed five bills through a voice vote without discussion. The Bills that were passed included The Karnataka Civil Services (Validation of Selection and Appointment of 2011 Batch Gazetted Probationers) Bill, The Criminal Law Amendment Bill and Karnataka Stamp (Amendment ) Bill.
Salaries of CM, Ministers and Legislators to go up
Even as the Government is battling reduction in revenues owing to the pandemic, resulting in a cut in allocation to many schemes, the Karnataka Legislature on Tuesday passed two Bills to execute a steep increase in the salaries and various allowances of the Chief Minister, Ministers, Legislators, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition.
The Karnataka Ministers Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2022 that was passed in the Legislature yesterday, would increase the monthly salary of the Chief Minister from Rs.50,000 to Rs.75,000.The salary of Ministers goes up from Rs.40,000 to Rs.60,000. Their sumptuary allowance — meant for entertaining guests — would go up from Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4.5 lakh a year. Various allowances, including House Rent Allowances and TA-DA, have seen a huge increase as well.
Hike in salaries and allowances of Ministers would cost Rs.25.4 crore per year. Hikes for MLAs and MLCs, as per the Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2022, would cost the State exchequer Rs.67 crore per year. Defending the hike, the Government attributed the increase in salaries to the rise in fuel prices. The monthly salaries of MLAs and MLCs would increase from Rs.25,000 to Rs.40,000. Pension of Legislators would be hiked from Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000 in case he or she had served one term.
CM to visit Delhi on Feb. 25
Ahead of presenting the Budget, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai would visit Delhi on Feb. 25. Bommai is expected to meet the BJP’s top leadership and discuss issues like Cabinet expansion or reshuffle, the budget which he will be tabling on Mar. 4, the Law and Order situation in the State among other things, it is learnt.