Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab on Saturday issued a notification giving pension to former MLAs only for one term after the governor Banwarilal Purohit gave his assent to the Bill limiting multiple pensions of the legislators.
From now on, a legislator would get only one pension of Rs 75,150 per month irrespective of the terms for which he or she gets elected. While it is a 117-member state assembly, there are about 300 former MLAs in Punjab who are drawing pension, some getting pensions as high as Rs 3 lakh per month.
With this Act coming into force, the state government would save around Rs 19.53 crore annually with this move.
It may be recalled that the AAP decision is in line with the demand it raised as the then main opposition party during the previous Congress-led government’s tenure in the state.
The AAP which came to power registering a landslide win in the state assembly polls in February this year – 92 seats out of the total 117 - had passed the Punjab state legislature members (pension and medical facilities regulation) amendment Bill, 2022, on June 30, last paving the way for a single pension of Rs 75,150 a month to each legislator irrespective of his or her terms.
Even though chief minister Bhagwant Mann had announced the plan to limit multiple pensions of the MLAs soon after he took charge in March this year, it took over four months for the Act to be notified. It may be recalled that the governor had earlier refused to give his assent to an ordinance to this effect asking the government to put up a Bill in the budget session of the assembly which passed a Bill on June 30, last. The delay, however, cost the state exchequer a few crores of rupees as the former MLAs got multiple pensions till July.