The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Saturday gave its nod for a hike in salary and allowances of state legislators at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
In October, an independent panel appointed by the Delhi government to revise the salaries of Delhi MLAs had recommended a whopping over-400% increase in their basic salary.
"The Cabinet has approved a hike in salary and allowances of MLAs. The government will now send the approved proposal to the Lt Governor for his nod," PTI quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying.
However, the sources did not disclose the amount of salary hike approved by the government for 70 Delhi MLAs.
The demand to increase salaries of the MLAs was "raised" by four AAP legislators in August, who cited insufficient funds to manage monthly expenses.
Besides a hike in basic salary, the panel had also proposed "exponential" increase in many allowances that are part of the legislators' pay package.
The pay panel had recommended increasing the conveyance allowance to Rs 30,000 from Rs 6,000 and communication allowance to Rs 10,000 from Rs 8,000. Overall, the total cost to the exchequer was estimated to increase to Rs 2.35 lakh per MLA per month.
Opposition parties had attacked the AAP government for "intending such an ambitious pay hike".
"Before elections he is something else. After the polls, his real character is exposed," Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay had said earlier.