Odisha MLAs demand salary hike

Bhubaneswar: MLAs cutting across party lines on Tuesday demanded a hike in their salary, pension and other entitlements.

The MLAs raised the issue during zero hour and demanded a ruling from Speaker Niranjan Pujari.

Congress Chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the health insurance coverage for MLAs should be raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

He said the salary and allowance of the members should also be revised as the present remuneration is not adequate for the lawmakers.

Later, MLAs from all political parties met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in his Assembly chamber and raised the issue.

At present, an Odisha MLA gets a salary and allowances of Rs 60,000 a month which was enhanced from Rs 21,950 in 2011. The pension for MLAs and ex-MLAs was also raised from a minimum of Rs 6000 to Rs 15,000.