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PIL challenges bill increasing salaries, pension of MLAs

A PIL in Bombay High Court has challenged a Maharashtra government’s bill increasing salaries and pension of sitting and former MLAs as well as ministers, citing financial burden on the state.

The bill raised the monthly salaries of sitting MLAs from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh, while awarding the ministers and ex-MLAs increased pension to match the one drawn by Chief Secretary and other senior IAS officers, said the PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar.

The PIL, filed on Monday, is slated to come up for hearing in due course.

Notably, there are 288 Assembly constituencies in the state and the elections since the formation of Maharashtra have sent more than 2,000 MLAs in the House so far. There will be 288 added every five years, said the PIL.

Citing financial crunch faced by the state, the PIL said Maharashtra’s debt burden stood at Rs 3.79 lakh crore as on March 31, 2016, the highest among all the Indian states. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, according to the data compiled by RBI on total outstanding liabilities of state governments, the PIL said.

The state earned the dubious distinction in 2011 with a debt of Rs 2.30 lakh crore, dislodging Uttar Pradesh (Rs 2.29 lakh crore) that was leading the list of debt-ridden states for a long time. The gap between the two has since steadily widened, according to the petition.

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