No longer business as usual for India’s parliament

December 15, 2010

A view of the parliament building in New Delhi December 1, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

The least productive parliament session in 25 years — this is not a milestone to be proud of in the world’s largest democracy.

Worse, next year’s budget session might bear the brunt of the present logjam, which is far from being resolved.

The deadlock raises questions beyond the usual debate about political ramifications. Are India’s MPs squandering public money, shelled out in the form of taxes, by stalling parliamentary proceedings?

Are they justified in holding parliament to ransom and using their positions as a political tool?

Newspapers reported two billion rupees were lost because of adjournments and interruptions in the lower house, the Lok Sabha, and more than 200 hours wasted in both houses of parliament.

Close to 500 questions were admitted in the Lok Sabha but only five of them could be answered during the 23 sittings of the winter session.

Congress MPs decided to forego their daily allowances of 2,000 rupees for the winter session.

While this is purely voluntary, opposition MPs have no such obligation. Ironically, lawmakers’ wages were trebled in August after they pushed for a salary hike.

Should MPs’ salaries be cut for absenteeism or when they stall parliamentary proceedings? Share your views.

5 comments

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Of course they ought not to receive any pay when absent or stalling the Parliament. Right now this is what is required. Perchance the Future shall be different where Politicians shall survive on the Government pay. But, as I have said before, let me receive nothing for being a disruption.

Posted by ShahofShahs | Report as abusive

The amount of time and money wasted amounts to nothing for the government or the MPs. Most of them are anyways too busy debating on news channels every evening. Yup, they should be fined heavily for stalling the House. Maybe the media could serve as an additional source of pocket money for them!

Posted by Anuja.J | Report as abusive

I am sure the salaries are not going to make any difference for them. Their issue is that they did not get any share in corrupted money. In that case, they dont care about either the logjam or impact it creates on the economy or people.
In the past history, JPC was formed for 4 times and neither the reports are used nor recommendations are implemented (to my knowledge) but still they demand for it. It does not much sense. They just want to show us their presence.

Posted by pavithrab | Report as abusive

Surely, as a responsible elected representative of this country, it is their duty to uphold the honour and respect of their seat, but as proved it is of little concern to them as long as lenghty debates cover up the real issues and save their skin. These people should be fined and absenteeism and creating nuisance in the parliament should not be allowed.It is actually a shame for the biggest democracy of the world that the torch bearers of the same are actually working towrads making it a pseudo democracy

Posted by RuralIndian | Report as abusive

That is a Public Gimmick by Congress to forego the allowances. To coverup the everseen corruption. A PAC,CAG or even a CBI enquiry will not give light in to this corruption. So the JPC need of opposition is acceptable. It is not a loss to Indian Democracy.

Posted by Ragesh | Report as abusive