Over 65,000 elected representatives of the local government bodies have their monthly honorarium and other benefits almost doubled.
A government circular issued yesterday said the pay hike took retrospective effect from July 1 last year.
The elected representatives include mayors and councilors of the city corporations and municipalities, chairmen and members of the Zila Parishads, chairmen and vice-chairmen of the Upazila Parishads and chairmen and members of the Union Parishads.
The majority of them belong to the ruling Awami League.
Officials stated the representatives would be paid from the revenue earned by their offices, adding that their honorarium was raised after four years.
The hike was regarded as the demand of time.
Experts have hailed the decision to increase the honorarium and other benefits for the elected representatives.
However, they stressed the need for monitoring the dedication and activities of the representatives to stop misusing the money.
Local government expert Tofail Ahmed said it(the hike) is a good initiative as their previous honorarium did not reflect their contribution to the society.
“Many elected representatives who aim to do business. Serving people becomes their second priority,” he said, adding that the government should make a policy to ensure that to serve the public, they stay at their office for a particular period of time every day.
The AL consists of the majority of all the elected bodies from the Union Parishads to the Jatiya Sangsad.
After retaining office for the second straight time, the party hiked the monthly honorarium and other benefits for the lawmakers, ministers and public servants.
Executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Iftekharuzzaman said the hike in the honorarium for the local government representatives was not “surprising” following similar increases in the honorariums of MPs and public servants.
“the expectations of the public representatives at various tiers of the local government are possibly met by the pay hike,” he said.
Iftekharuzzaman also hoped that the hike might stop a section of the representatives from abusing their power for making money.