MLAs or Members of the Legislative Assembly are the elected representatives of the people in a state. They play a vital role in the governance and development of the state. But how much do they earn for their service? What are the bonuses and benefits they enjoy? How does their salary compare to other states and countries? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.
How much do MLAs in West Bengal earn?
According to the latest announcement by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on September 7, 2023, the monthly salary of MLAs in West Bengal has been increased by Rs 40,000. This means that the basic salary of MLAs has gone up from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 per month. The state ministers and cabinet ministers have also received a similar hike, from Rs 10,900 and Rs 11,000 to Rs 50,900 and Rs 51,000 per month respectively.
However, the basic salary is not the only component of the MLA’s income. They also receive various allowances and extra pay for attending standing committee meetings and House sessions. According to some sources, an MLA’s gross salary, including all allowances and extra pay, is around Rs 1.5 lakh per month. A minister’s gross salary is approximately Rs 1.10 lakh per month.
The chief minister, however, has not revised her own salary, as she has not been drawing any pay for a long time. She said that she does not need any salary as she earns enough from the royalty of her books.
Why did the MLAs get a salary hike?
The chief minister said that the reason for the salary hike was that the MLAs in West Bengal get the lowest salary in the country compared to other states. She said that it was necessary to increase their salary to match the standards of other states and to appreciate their work for the people.
She also said that the salary hike would not affect the state’s finances as it was a small amount compared to the state’s budget.
What are the bonuses and benefits of MLAs in West Bengal?
Apart from their monthly salary, MLAs in West Bengal also enjoy various bonuses and benefits such as:
- Free accommodation or house rent allowance
- Free electricity and water
- Free telephone and internet
- Free travel by air, rail or road within the state and outside
- Medical reimbursement and insurance
- Pension after retirement
- Gratuity and leave encashment
- Constituency allowance for development work
- Daily allowance for attending House sessions and committee meetings
How does the MLA salary in West Bengal compare to other states and countries?
The MLA salary in West Bengal is one of the lowest in India. According to a report by PRS Legislative Research, as of 2019, the highest-paid MLAs were from Telangana, who earned Rs 2.5 lakh per month as a basic salary. The lowest-paid MLAs were from Tripura, who earned Rs 8,333 per month as a basic salary. The average basic salary of MLAs across India was Rs 96,000 per month.
The MLA salary in West Bengal is also low compared to other countries. According to a report by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, as of 2018, the highest-paid parliamentarians were from Australia, who earned $153,075 per year as a basic salary. The lowest-paid parliamentarians were from Sierra Leone, who earned $1,200 per year as a basic salary. The average basic salary of parliamentarians across the world was $37,658 per year.
MLAs in West Bengal are the elected representatives of the people who work for the development and welfare of the state. They have recently received a salary hike of Rs 40,000 per month from the chief minister, who said that it was necessary to appreciate their work and to match the standards of other states. However, their salary is still one of the lowest in India and in the world. They also enjoy various bonuses and benefits such as free accommodation, travel, medical facilities, and pensions.
Most Asked Questions and Answers
Q: What is the full form of MLA?
A: MLA stands for Member of Legislative Assembly.
Q: How many MLAs are there in West Bengal?
A: There are 294 MLAs in West Bengal.
Q: How are MLAs elected in West Bengal?
A: MLAs are elected by direct election through single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post system.
Q: How long is the term of an MLA in West Bengal?
A: The term of an MLA in West Bengal is five years unless the assembly is dissolved earlier.
Q: What are the qualifications to become an MLA in West Bengal?
A: To become an MLA in West Bengal, one must be:
- A citizen of India
- At least 25 years of age
- Registered as a voter in any constituency of West Bengal
- Not disqualified by any law or court
Q: What are the powers and functions of MLAs in West Bengal?
A: MLAs in West Bengal have the following powers and functions:
- To make laws on subjects under the state list and concurrent list of the constitution
- To approve the state budget and expenditure
- To hold the executive accountable by asking questions, raising motions, and participating in debates
- To represent the interests and grievances of their constituents
- To serve on various committees of the assembly
Q: What are the challenges faced by MLAs in West Bengal?
A: Some of the challenges faced by MLAs in West Bengal are:
- Lack of adequate resources and staff to perform their duties
- High expectations and demands from the public
- Political interference and pressure from parties and leaders
- Security threats and violence from opponents and criminals
- Media scrutiny and criticism
Q: How can MLAs improve their performance in West Bengal?
A: Some of the ways MLAs can improve their performance in West Bengal are:
- To attend the assembly sessions and committee meetings regularly and actively
- To study the bills and issues before voting or debating on them
- To consult with experts, civil society and stakeholders on policy matters
- To communicate with their constituents and address their problems
- To use technology and social media to enhance their outreach and transparency
Q: How can citizens evaluate the performance of MLAs in West Bengal?
A: Some of the criteria citizens can use to evaluate the performance of MLAs in West Bengal are:
- Attendance and participation in the assembly sessions and committee meetings
- Quality and quantity of questions, motions and speeches made in the assembly
- Number and impact of bills introduced or supported by them in the assembly
- Development work done by them in their constituencies
- Responsiveness and accessibility to their constituents
Q: How can citizens contact their MLAs in West Bengal?
A: Citizens can contact their MLAs in West Bengal through various modes such as:
- Visiting their office or residence in person
- Writing a letter or email to them
- Calling or texting them on their phone number
- Following or messaging them on their social media accounts
- Meeting them during their public events or tours