Bangalore - The average salary package of each MP is 68 times higher than the percentage income in the country and total value of assets of 4 MPs is Rs. 29.2 billion, says the National Social Watch Report that was released here on Wednesday.
The value of Indian MPs’ pay and perks is higher than their counterparts in Singapore, Japan, Italy and Pakistan. In terms of the ratio of pay package to national per capita income, India ranks second after Kenya and pays almost double than the US, says the Report on Governance and Development-2013.
The report was released by Mr. Jagadananda, President of National Social Watch-India and Former Information Commissioner of Odisha.
The report states that 31% of MPs in Lok Sabha has pending criminal cases against them.
A wrap-up report of Budget session 2012 by the Delhi based Parliamentary Research Service (PRS) lists 88 Bills that were pending before the budget session 2012; of these, 51 were in the Lok Sabha and 37 were in the Rajya Sabha.
The report also highlights that The UPA-II government continued to reduce the scope of the Union Budget (as measured by Total Expenditure from the budget) as compared to the size of the country’s economy (as measured by the GDP) – Total Expenditure from Union Budget would shrink from 14.9 percent of GDP in 2012–13 (Budget Estimates/BE) to 14.6 percent of GDP in 2013–14 (BE), and the brunt of this conservative fiscal policy is likely to be borne mainly by the poor.
The key highlights of the report are as follows:
· 577 hours and 442 hours lost in disruptions and forced adjournments in the 15th Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sessions respectively
· MPs pay package 68 times higher than the per capita income of the country; paid higher than Japan, Singapore, Italy and Pakistan amongst others
· 48420 and 32742 unstarred questions asked in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sessions
· Only 10% of starred questions were answered orally
· Only 23% bills were passed as compared to the planned 94; 18% of bills passed in less than 5 mins in Parliament in the year 2011; Sensitive bills pending over a long time
· Parliamentary committees unproductive too
· 152 MPs (31%) with criminal cases in the 15th Lok Sabha; Nearly 17% of women MPs of the 15th Lok Sabha have criminal cases pending against them
· Total value of assets of 542 MPs (Lok Sabha) is 29.2 billion, with an average of 53.8 million each
· Stagnation in social sector spending from the union budget
· One farmer committed suicide in every 32.75 minutes (half an hour); 256,913 farmers committed suicides between 1995 and 2010
· Total Expenditure from Union Budget would shrink from 14.9 percent of GDP in 2012–13 (Budget Estimates/BE) to 14.6 percent of GDP in 2013–14
· CAG Scrutiny of PPP; estimate 3,84,000 crore being implemented and no one to monitor?
· Reach of the Judiciary remained low due to huge backlog and complicated processes
· The number of pending cases has increased from 2.81 crore in 2004 to 3.17 crore in 2011
· Rajya Sabha has longer pendency of bills which accounted for 37 pending bills in 2012
· The amounts Rs.5,799.3 cr. in 2010-11 and Rs.9,963.9 cr. in 2011-12 allocated for about 2.5 lakh Local Governing Bodies looks peanuts compare to about Rs.4,000 cr. per annum allotted to about 800 MPs (as pocket money) under the local area development (LAD) programme
According to the report, budget-sessions, monsoon-sessions and winter-sessions each – saw the Lok Sabha working for an average of less than four hours of work per day during its 227 sittings in 852 hours, that is, less than two-thirds of scheduled six hours per day, losing in the process about 577 hours in disruptions and forced adjournments.
These nine sessions witnessed 4,224 starred questions and 48,420 unstarred questions being admitted and answered. While during the proceedings 139 government Bills were introduced and 119 were passed, 514 reports of the Parliamentary Committees, including Departmentally Related Standing Committees (DRSCs), were presented.
National Social Watch (NSW) is a research and advocacy organization that monitors the functioning and efficiency of key governance institutions; their commitment towards citizens and practice of democratic values.