It is remarkable that law-making MPs of India should be recommended (about 60 recommendations in all) for jumps in pay, daily and travel allowances, perks and privileges (Ref: TOI Mumbai: Thursday, July 2, 2015, pages 1 and 12).
This, to the best of my knowledge and belief, is in addition to the Rs.1 crore (may be more) every MP gets as development fund for his/her constituency. Most remarkable is the recommendation by the parliamentary panel to put in place an automatic pay revision mechanism for MPs similar to the government servants.
I have the following recommendations to make
i) Serving government employees have an annual performance reviews. In a like manner, MPs should be assessed yearly and their assessors would be the very same electorate who empowered them. And the assessment must be fair, transparent, without any pressure such as allurements and intimidating threats. If any one’s performance is unsatisfactory, he/she will lose his/her seat.
ii) There has to be a minimum qualifying period of service for an MP to draw full pension and get other retirement benefits. In government service, qualifying service is presently 20 years (after the 6th Pay Commission); previous to this it was 33 years.
iii) Pay revision for retired government employees up to and inclusive of the pay band of Rs.37400-67000 should be every 5 years instead of the current 10 years since pensioners get only Dearness Relief and no other allowances, whatsoever. Those drawing pay of Rs.80,000/ and above (excluding the grade pay or any other pay) will be excluded from this.
iv) Government employees, specially the pensioners, under CHSS should be given options to switch over to CGHS schemes if they so wish.
v) Group ‘A’ entry officers in all the departments of the Government should get air-port facilities and other perks on par with or better than ex-MPs after retirement provided they have put in 33/20 years of qualifying service. One older in age will get priority over others.
vi) In the case of erring government employees, there are established procedures to deal with them by way of dismissal, suspensions, etc. No such thing seems to be there for our Parliamentarians. We learn from media there are so many offenders and criminals among them and they come from almost all the parties. Several years ago, I gathered from media that nearly one-third (30-35%) of Parliamentarians were rapists/child-rapists.
(vii) An attendance register should be maintained properly and strictly for all the sitting MPs under the direct supervision of the respective speakers of both the houses and sitting MPs are to be paid their daily allowances in direct proportion to the number of hours they spend in the houses to which they are elected or nominated, that is on a pro-rata basis. This is to promote a culture of parity, merit and justice among the law-makers of the land.
By Dr. Sachidanand Das