Jammu and Kashmir lawmakers doubled their salaries and even doubled the pensions of former lawmakers on the concluding day of the month-long budget session on Thursday. This they did in a few minutes, without any argument or debate. The move will put an extra load of Rs 20 crore on the overall spending of the government on them. The House passed the amendment to the J&K State Legislator Act 1960 and J&K Ministers and Ministers of State Salaries Act 1956 by a voice vote in a few minutes. The amendment was also done in the laws that govern the pensions of retired lawmakers of the state so that they, too, can benefit from the hike.
A lawmaker will now get Rs 160,000 per month, double the previous salary of Rs 80,000. The Chief Minister will now get Rs 70,000 monthly instead of the previous salary of Rs 45,000. A Cabinet minister will now draw a salary of Rs 65,000 per month instead of the previous Rs 40,000. A Minister of State will now draw Rs 60,000 monthly; the previous salary was Rs 35,000. In the Budget session, lawmakers cutting across party lines had demanded a hike and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced doubling of their salaries.