Odisha hikes sitting allowance of Speaker, Dy Speaker, Ministers

Bhubaneswar: The State Government has decided to hike sitting allowance of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Ministers and health insurance coverage and medical allowance for former legislators.

The decision to this effect was taken in Cabinet meeting presided over by CM Naveen Patnaik on Friday.

As per the decision, sitting allowance of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Ministers has increased to Rs 800 from Rs 150. Similarly, the revised limit of health insurance for ex-MLAs has been increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh per annum, Chief Secretary AP Padhi informed media after the meeting. The Cabinet also decided that the former MLAs will be provided monthly medical allowance of Rs 2,000, Padhi added.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to accord private university status to Gandhi Institute of Engineering and Technology (GIET) at Gunpur in Koraput.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal of the Forest and Environment Department on the educational qualification for appointment of foresters. Henceforth, candidates applying for the post of forester must have a Bachelors Degree in Science.

Besides, the proposal of the Water Resources Department for amendment in Odisha Ground Water (Regulation, Development and. Management) Act, for setting up of two underground drip irrigation projects in Belpahar, Jharsuguda and Brajarajnagar was also approved. Under these projects, the river water of Mahanadi would be utilised.

The Cabinet also decided that there would be no collection of fees from the primary members of the Cooperative Societies.

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