Speaker KB Koliwad said if government provides lunches, the lawmakers won’t have to leave for a meal.

Bengaluru:  In face of a problem of absenteeism in legislative assembly, Karnataka has a new plan – one that appears to have been inspired by schools. Lunches, which the state hopes, will induce the lawmakers to attend, especially the afternoon sessions.

In June, the speaker had to adjourn the house several times during the session when not even two dozen members were present in the House.

The system of mandatory signing before each session, morning and afternoon, has not helped. Many lawmakers have been seen signing the register and quietly leaving, says sources in Karnataka legislature secretariat.

Speaker KB Koliwad said there is a possibility that if the government provides lunches, the lawmakers won’t have to leave the building just for a meal. Currently the Vidhan Soudha has facilities only for snacks. He said it was one of the several measures being considered to stem the tide of absenteeism in the session.

“It is not a big issue. MLAs are also responsible representatives. We have sent circulars, we are taking measures, morning session and evening session we have asked them to sign,” said Mr Koliwad.

Currently legislators draw a salary of 65,000 rupees a month and can claim constituency travelling allowance upto Rs 25,000 per month. They also get daily allowance of Rs 1,000 for attending meetings. Despite all this, the attendance in the session has been abysmal.

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