After reading this article we are pretty confident that you’ll agree with the statement above. In August 2010, when the whole world was still reeling due to depression, budget cuts and loss of jobs, the Congress government tabled an audacious bill on the parliament floor. The bill proposed a hike of up to 300% in the basic salary of the parliamentarians along with monstrous increase in other perks and fringe benefits.
Even then, some of the MPs were unhappy with the hike (they expected basic to be increased to 80000) and disrupted the parliament functioning for 2 days.
So, considering the representation of constituency in parliament a job, we will evaluate it on a few common parameters.
There is nothing to say on the required qualification as there isn’t any. Any person who is an Indian citizen and satisfies the age criteria (above 25 years for Lok Sabha and 30 years in case of Rajya Sabha). There is no clause mandating a minimum education for being a Member of Parliament. Now, you know why we get such an educated lot of MPs every 5 year.
2. Job Description
Are you scared of the unending roles and responsibilities outlined in your Job description? Wouldn’t you love a job with no defined duties and responsibilities? The same is the case with a Member of Parliament position. A RTI query filed with Central and State assemblies revealed that there is no provision in Constitution defining duties and responsibilities for MPs for which he/she can be held liable.
State of Assam, being an exception, defines prime duty of MPs is to “Maintain communal harmony and peace among the people”. Well the job seems to be demanding now.
This is literally that sort of job where no hands-on experience is required. Every tom, dick and harry is considered equal on Parliament’s pedestal which reflects and reinforces our constitution’s faith in fundamental right of equality.
4. Working hours
Lok Sabha observes three sessions every year
Budget session : February to May.
Monsoon session : July to September.
Winter session : November to mid-December.
Ignoring weekends (Saturday and Sunday) when ordinarily Lok Sabha doesn’t sit and other gazetted holidays, there are approximately 180 sessions a year. The timings are much more relaxed. MPs have to report at 11AM for morning session which continues till 1PM. The afternoon session begins at 2PM and continues till 6PM.
After working 45 hours a week every year, I know what you must be thinking!!!
Coming to the emoluments, post 2010 parliamentary bill, all MPs draw a basic salary of Rs. 50000 per month. On top of this, they are paid Constituency allowance and Office expense allowance of Rs. 45000 each per month. All MPs are eligible for daily allowance of Rs. 2000/parliamentary session attended. Cumulating all perks mentioned above, we can conclude that each MP pockets a handsome salary of Rs. 170000/month.
6. Other Benefits
Believe me that was only take-home salary that we talked about. Other fringe benefits as mentioned in a Firstpost article:
- Fully furnished rent free home at prime locations in New Delhi with all amenities like Air conditioners etc.
- Free electricity up to 50000 units per year
- Free water consumption of 4000 KLtr
- Free travel through Indian Railways for MPs and their spouse. Also, 34 free flight tickets during a year post which they would be charged one-fourth of the actual cost. They literally own Air India or Indian Railways delaying flights and trains at will.
- Total of 150000 local calls free.
- Highly subsidized canteen services at parliament premises where Chicken curry can be enjoyed at Rs. 34. Instead of providing these subsidies to citizens living below poverty line, our MPs have decided to benefit themselves.
At the end comes the Appraisal. The appraisal is like you being asked how much hike do you want. A parliamentary panel is formed which gives recommendations regarding the percentage of hike and other benefits to be added. A bill is prepared by the Finance ministry and tabled in parliament which surprisingly gets unanimous support. So, it’s evident that all steps of the process are carried out by MPs themselves, a classic case of Self-Appraisal.