The Nagaland Cabinet has greenlighted a proposal to revise and augment salaries, allowances, and other facilities for Members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, including pension schemes for ex-Members and ex-Interim Body Members.

Moreover, the Department has been instructed to implement a 10 percent increase in vehicle maintenance allowances for members hailing from remote areas. Additionally, a recommendation to raise financial advances to Rs 20 lakh per member has been put forth.

This decision comes amid heightened attention on the financial affairs of Nagaland’s political scene. A report released by the poll watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) on 21 February 2023 has unveiled intriguing insights into the wealth dynamics of Nagaland’s political incumbents.

The report scrutinized the assets of 47 out of the 53 MLAs seeking re-election. The report findings, as was compiled by NENow, revealed a striking trend in asset accumulation among these incumbents, ranging from a modest 0.1% to a staggering 6870%.

Interestingly, while the majority of re-contesting MLAs witnessed a significant surge in assets, six MLAs experienced a downturn, with their assets plummeting by percentages as steep as -90%. The data further highlighted a substantial increase in the average assets of the 53 re-contesting MLAs, soaring from Rs 5.46 crore in 2018 to Rs 7.10 crore in 2023, marking an impressive increment of Rs 1.64 crore over the specified period.

Notably, Neiphiu Rio, the chief minister of Nagaland and a National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate, emerged as one of the wealthiest candidates running in this election with stated assets of Rs 46.95 crore.

Rio declared his mobile assets to be worth Rs 15.99 crore and his immovable assets to be worth Rs 30.96 crore in an affidavit he submitted with his nomination papers on 6 February. His assets escalated by Rs 10.53 crore from Rs 36.41 crore in 2018 to Rs 46.95 crore in 2023.

Similarly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saw a significant uptick in assets, with 12 of its MLAs witnessing a 43.6% increase, propelling their assets from Rs 3 crore in 2018 to nearly Rs 5.5 crore in 2023, underscoring a robust growth trajectory.

Mokokchung Times

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