Monday, August 23, 2010
India, better known as the home to the world's richest cricketers and cricket administrators, is nw also going to be known as the place that houses the world's richest MPs.
In an expected move in the parliament on the weekend, the Lok Sabha passed a bill which increses the salaries of an MP nearly 300%!! This decision had to be taken bacause some MPs (names not taken) caused disruptions in the Parliament,by organising a mock parliament session in protest. Also, this came after there had been a 200% incrase in their original salaries earlier in the week. Huh!!
Increasing the salary of an MP is hardly justifie at a time when most governments are withdrawng perks and incentives to the leaders to cut bak on additional costs. Agreed that India is much better off than other economies, a rising superpower, but still, increasing someone's salary nearly 300% holds only a little sense, if any.
First, let me tell you why Indian MPs don't NEED an increment in their salary an the situation after this increment.
Nearly 60% of the Mps who were seated in the Lok Sabha who passed the bill have declared their assets of more than a crore, and since we all are familiar with the honesty of most our MPs, we can safely say that this figure could be much higher. The average asset holding of an MP in the Lok Sabha is around 5.33 crores, which means that on an average, every MP is now a Crorepati. Also, our MPs avail other free services as well, like free transportation and residence, free electricity and water, total taxation exemptions, and other facilities. Clearly, they are in no NEED of more money.
After the bill, at over 37 lakhs a year now, our MPs raw more money than their counterparts in highly developed economies including Singapore, Japan and Italy. Their pay is nearly 68 times the pay of an Average Indian (Annual), which is the highest around the world, higher than that of even the US, which stands at just 27 times!!
All this comes in a country where nearly 50% of the total population sleeps without having one square meal a day, and do not have access to even the most basic facilities.
But I won't really curse the MPs for demanding more pay. After all, if any other person amongst us could get an increment, will we evr leave the chance? I don't think so.
That is where the problem lies, in the constitution. It is baseles and extremely foolish to give the MPs the power to increase their own salary. Imagine we people being given the same power, to decide our salary, and then see how much of the money is left. Just like we don't get to choose our salary, it should be the ame for any MP or MLA, or whatever post he/she holds. This authority should lie with another powerful anuthority like the Supreme Court, or maybe the President, but certainly not the Parliament.
Also, one shouldn't let disruption and protests influence Govt. decisions and laws made in the country. I any MP or MLA does not support the happenings in the Parliament, he or she is free to leave his/her post, or simply choose not to participate in the session. Moreover, just like we have fines and restrictions on mis-using Govt property and facilities, the same should be impoed on the MPs as well. A time when the Supreme Court orders a guilty MP to do some community service, or pay a hefty fine, such diruptions should top, which otherwise, are turning the Parliament, into something worse than a fish market.
The last funny thing which I observed in the sessions was that the opposition was recently creating quite a furure in the parliament, by putting up difficult topics like Inflation and price rise, but hey wre either very quiet or were instrumental in passing a bill that puts tremendous pressure on the Fiscal Deficit, of the govt. This latest bill will only cause the prices to rise further in the market, which means that there raising voice against the same has been undone by they themselves.
But then, I don't think anybody other than perhaps our Mr. P. Chidambaram, or a certain Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, or even our PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, i.e. the educated and civilised class of our Parliament, must have noticed, but said nothing about...