Update (25 March 2022):
The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann has announced that the pension formula for Punjab’s MLAs will be changed so that MLAs will now be eligible for only one pension, and the money saved will be used to benefit the people of Punjab.
A social media post claiming that the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab has taken a big decision of doing away with pensions for former MLAs and Ministers is being widely circulated. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab has taken a big decision of doing away with pensions for former MLAs and Ministers.
Fact: There are reports about AAP government in Punjab is plannning at discontinuing the multiple pensions available for former MLAs. Instead, the government is mulling over the idea of ‘one MLA one Pension’. However, the government has not yet made any official statement or passed any orders in this regard. Moreover the concept of ‘one MLA one Pension’ does not mean a complete ban on pensions for former MLAs, but it intends to do away with multiple pensions for an individual. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Google search yielded a couple of recent reports (here & here) stating that the AAP government in Punjab is mulling over the idea of one pension for one MLA. Most likely, these reports could have been the source for the viral claims.
As per the current policy, any former representative of the state assembly is entitled to multiple pensions for multiple tenures. Effective from 26 October 2016, any member who served as an MLA is entitled to receive a standard basic pension of Rs. 15,000 per month plus D.A. In addition to this, the member receives an additional pension of Rs. 10,000 a month plus D.A. thereon for every subsequent term, irrespective of tenure.
Recent reports suggest that owing to the financial burden on the state exchequer, the AAP government is mulling to implement ‘one MLA one pension’ scheme so as to do away with the multiple pensions.
However, it is noteworthy to mention that the government hasn’t yet made any official announcement or passed any orders in this regard. Moreover, the concept of ‘one MLA one Pension’ does not mean a complete ban on pension for former MLAs, but it intends to do away with multiple pensions for an individual replacing it with only one pension irrespective of terms & tenure.
Also, this is not the first time AAP is suggesting such measures. Even when they were in opposition, AAP made similar representations in this regard.
Lately, there has been a growing clamour across party lines in this regard. Members of BJP have also made such representations demanding one pension for one MLA. Elected & former representatives of the Punjab Legislative Assembly like Prakash Singh Badal, Jaswant Singh, etc. have decided to forgo the pensions and instead requested the state government to use this amount for the welfare of the people.
To sum it up, the AAP government in Punjab did not ban pensions for former MLAs and Ministers but mulling over ‘one MLA one pension’.