Punjab cabinet approved ‘one MLA, one pension’

Chandigarh: Punjab’s cabinet on Monday approved a new pension scheme for lawmakers that scraps payouts based on the number of terms served by a legislator,

The one MLA, one pension scheme, which is expected to save the government Rs.19.53 crore per year, was in particular focus after it was announced by chief minister Bhagwant Mann on March 25, fulfilling a longstanding demand by the party.

In a meeting chaired by Mann, the cabinet approved amendment to the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977, which makes former lawmakers eligible for a single pension payout, irrespective of the number of terms served by them. Earlier, they received a separate sum for each term served.

There are around 300 former MLAs drawing pension in the state. According to the amendment, former legislators will get ₹60,000 per month besides dearness allowance (DA) — around ₹1.2 lakh a month along with other applicable allowances.

Earlier, a former MLA was paid a lump sum pension of ₹75,000 for a single term and ₹50,000, for every subsequent term. For example, Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, who was MLA for 10 terms, was entitled to a lump sum pension of around ₹ 6 lakh per month.