Bhubaneswar:The BJD government Wednesday introduced two separate Bills to enhance the housing allowance of state ministers and to ensure monthly medical allowance to former members of the Legislative Assembly.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha moved the Odisha Ministers’ Salaries and Allowances (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, and the Odisha Legislative Assembly Members’ Salary, Allowances and Pension (Amendment) Bill 2018 for consideration of the Assembly.
The House passed the two Bills by a voice vote.
The Odisha Ministers’ Salaries and Allowances (Second Amendment) Bill bats for amending Section 5 of the Odisha Ministers’ Salaries and Allowances Act, 1952 to increase the accommodation allowance of state ministers.
According to Arukha, the MLAs are entitled to accommodation allowance of Rs 1,000 per day till the allotment of government quarters but the ministers draw a House Rent Allowance at the rate of Rs 100 per mensem till the allotment of the quarters. The Bill envisages increasing the HRA of ministers from Rs 100 per mensem to Rs 1000 per day till the allotment of government quarters on a par with the accommodation allowance of other MLAs.
On the other hand, the Odisha Legislative Assembly Members’ Salary, Allowances and Pension (Amendment) Bill 2018 aims to amend the original Act of 1954 to include payment of medical allowance to the former MLAs of the state.
The objectives of the Bill stated that sitting MLAs are entitled to medical allowance at the rate of Rs 5000 per mensem for day-to- day treatment but there had been no provision of medical allowance for the ex-MLAs. The Bill makes a new provision for payment of medical allowance at the rate of Rs 2000 per month to the former MLAs to meet their medical treatment costs.
Two other legislations — Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2018 and the Gandhi Institute of Engineering and Technology University, Odisha Bill 2018 — were also introduced.
While the former adds the words ‘Society dealing with credit business’ along with Farmers’ Service Cooperative Society in the original Bill, the latter is meant to convert the institute into a self-financed private unitary university.