Punjab Assembly passes Bill to stop multiple term pensions to MLAs amid heated exchange between CM Bhagwant Mann, Partap Bajwa

Ex-MLA will get a pension of Rs 60,000 per month plus Dearness Allowance irrespective of the number of terms served; will save Rs 19.53 crore annually

Tribune News Service

Vishav Bharti

Chandigarh, June 30

Amid heated arguments between Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa, the Punjab State Legislatures Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Amendment Bill 2022, which aims to stop multiple term pensions to ex-MLAs was passed on Thursday by Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann (left) and Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa.

This amendment aims to provide pension for single term to the ex-MLAs, which will save Rs 19.53 crore annually.

As per the amendment ex-MLA will get a pension of Rs 60,000 per month plus Dearness Allowance thereon (as admissible to the Punjab Government pensioners) irrespective of the number of terms he had served as a member and irrespective of the tenures of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, in which he had served as a member.

However, when an ex-MLA will attain the age of 65, 75 and 80, he/she shall, respectively, be entitled to an increase of 5 per cent, 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the basic pension, admissible to him/her at the attainment of such age.

As per the earlier provisions an ex-MLA used to get Rs 15,000 per month pension plus Dearness Allowance thereon (as admissible to the Punjab Government Pensioners) for the first term, and an additional 15,000 plus Dearness Allowance thereon (as admissible to the Punjab Government Pensioners) for every subsequent term irrespective of the tenures of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, in which he/she had served as a member.

Heated arguments between CM Bhagwant Mann and Partap Singh Bajwa

Chandigarh: When the bill was tabled, the debate on the Bill was initiated by MLA from Jalandhar Cantt Pargat Singh who said when MLA is above than the Chief Secretary in protocol, so the protocol should be adjusted as per the MLA’s salary.

SAD MLA Dr Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi also said there are members in the house who do not have regular source of income, so while taking any decision their condition should also be kept in the mind.

The debate turned into a heated argument between treasury and opposition benches, when supporting the issues raised by opposition MLAs, Partap Bajwa said when an MLA is above Chief Secretary in protocol, so MLA’s pension if not less then must be at par with pension being drawn by Chief Secretary.

Replying to that Chief Minister Mann said a government official becomes eligible for pension after serving for at least 20 years. “A young man who becomes MLA at the age of 27 becomes eligible for pension just after five years, in such a scenario it is unfair to equate both.”

Putting Bajwa in dock, CM Mann said, “When you seek ticket for MLA, don’t you know how much salary you will get?” Bajwa tried to hit back at the CM and said why he tries to make everything dramatic. He also accused him of playing to the gallery.

Referring to an old interview of Bajwa, the CM again said Bajwa claimed that he had five terms as MLA, now he wants to serve the people. “Now here he seeks salary hike,” he said. The CM asked the members to look at people who are earning just Rs 5,000 a month but are still pushing their life.

#punjab assembly

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