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Pay hike ahead of rural poll

Guwahati, Dec. 9: Dispur today effected a massive hike of up to five times in remuneration of panchayat members keeping an eye on the panchayat elections scheduled to be held in early part of next year.

Sources told The Telegraph that a meeting of the cabinet had approved the hike which is in line with increases received by MPs and MLAs of other states.

“The monthly remuneration of a zila parishad chairperson has been increased to Rs 10,000 from Rs 2,000. Similarly, a vice-chairperson of zila parishad is expected to get Rs 7,000 per month as against Rs 5,000 now. A zila parishad member is expected to receive Rs 3,500 as against Rs 700 which he was receiving,” the source said.

The hikes which will be effective from the current month will increase the monthly remuneration of a panchayat samiti chairman to Rs 7,500 as against the current amount of Rs 1,500. The vice-chairman’s remuneration will be increased to Rs 5,000 as against Rs 1,000.

In case of other panchayat samiti members, sources said the government had increased the amount to Rs 2,500 a month from the current remuneration of Rs 500.

“The chairman of a gram panchayat is expected to receive Rs 5,000 a month as against Rs 1,000 at present. The vice chairman’s remuneration is expected to go up to Rs 3,000 from Rs 750,” the source said.

The hike in remuneration of members of the three-tier panchayati raj system will co-st Dispur an additional expenditure of Rs 60 crore annually.

Panchayat and rural development minister Rakibul Hussain said chief minister Tarun Gogoi after reaching the city from his official foreign trip via Calcutta this evening, had convened a cabinet meeting and approved the hikes.