Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit gave his assent to the “One MLA, One Pension” bill, following which a gazette notification was issued by the Bhagwant Mann government.
“I am very happy to inform Punjabis that the Hon’ble Governor has approved the ‘One MLA One Pension’ Bill… Govt has issued a notification. This will save a lot of tax for the public,” chief minister Bhagwant Mann tweeted on Saturday.
Finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema added, “No more ‘Free ki Revdi’ to Netas! When Punjab was reeling from extreme financial distress, MLAs under the previous govts (enjoyed) multiple pensions. Under the leadership of CM Bhagwant Mann, this (ends). One MLA one pension will save approx Rs 19.53 crore (sic). ”
Mann added in a statement that Punjab expects to save around Rs 100 crore during its five-year tenure. “During the last 75 years, these elected representatives have turned into political executives by drawing extravagant salaries and pensions from the state exchequer. The entire burden of this facility extended to these leaders was met by taxpayers. Their money was misused to fill the pockets of these leaders instead of being used for public welfare,” he said.
The notification was issued on August 11 by the department of legal and legislative affairs. “This Act may be called the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Amendment Act, 2022. It shall come into force on and with effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette,” it read. As per the amendment, a former MLA will get a pension for only one term.