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Ministry said territorial administration did not get its approval
MLAs have questioned propriety of the latest decision
PUDUCHERRY: The government was forced to put on hold the salary hike given to Members of the Legislative Assembly following certain adverse observations made by Union Ministry of Home Affairs against the decision, it was reliably learnt.
Five months after the government hiked the salary, an order was issued by Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh on February 23 keeping “in abeyance” its decision to increase the salary for Ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and MLAs.
The Ministry of Home Affairs pointed out that the territorial administration did not get its approval before hiking the salary. As per the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963, it was mandatory for the territorial administration to send draft of bill that was to be introduced in the Assembly. The bill could be introduced after the draft was approved by the Ministry.
In the case of salary hike for legislators, the government, through an order issued by the Lieutenant Governor on October 10, 2009, accorded sanction for enhancement of salary and allowances to the members with effect from February 2007 pending amendment of the acts such as the Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Puducherry) Act, 1964, Salaries and Allowances of Speakers and Deputy Speaker, Act (Puducherry) 1964 and Salary Allowances and Pensions of Members of the Legislative Assembly (Puducherry) Act 1964.
Though a draft was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government did not wait for its assent to hike the salary. It implemented the decision through an order. It was learnt that the government had already hiked the salary and provided arrears to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh each to the members.
A section of MLAs have questioned the propriety of the latest decision to put on hold the salary hike after five months of its implementation. While criticising the government for not following the procedures, they wanted to know whether the government would follow the same yardstick in adverse observations made by the Ministry of Home Affairs against creation of certain posts.
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