Terming the proposed 50 per cent hike in honorarium of elected representatives of panchayats as meagre considering the cost of living and efforts that they put in, members of the Panchawadi and Bethoda village panchayats have demanded around 300 to 500 per cent hike.
Members of the two village panchayats held a press conference in Ponda on Tuesday. They have also decided to submit memorandum to the government demanding hike in their honorarium through the newly-formed state-wide association of the panchayat members.
Bethoda sarpanch Sushant Gaonkar demanded a hike in honorarium of sarpanch up to Rs 25,000 a month from the present Rs 4,500, deputy sarpanch up to Rs 15,000 a month from the present Rs 3,500 and Rs 10,000 a month for a panch member from the present Rs 3,000. Panchawadi sarpanch Vishant Gaonkar, ex zilla panchayat member Satan Fernandes and other panch members of the Panchawadi panchayat were also present at the briefing.
Vishant Gaonkar said that presently, panch members and sarpanchas are paid meagre honorarium as compared to the salaries drawn by the MLAs. He said that it is not viable to work as panchayat member with such a meagre honorarium and called upon the government to consider a better hike.
“We know that the government has already proposed 50 per cent hike in honorarium of panchas and sarpanchas, but it is still meagre and there should be serious rethinking over it,” added Vishant Gaonkar.
The panchayat members also made various demands to strengthen the panchayat system and to take up these demands, an association of state-wide panchayat members has been established, informed Sushant Gaonkar.