Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Parliament Paralysis

Since 23/11/2011 Parliament is disrupted day after day. MPs do not do work. There is talk of no work, no pay for MPs. No MP has openly opposed it but opposition MPs blame government for disruption and vice versa. Some say cutting 2,000 rupees of daily allowance will not make a difference to MPs as they have other sources and resources.

There are two points. First, it is immaterial whether cutting 2,000 rupees of daily allowance makes a difference to MPs or not. Parliament did not function and they should not get daily allowance.

Second, besides daily allowance there should be cuts in salary and other allowances. An MP’s salary is Rs.50,000 p.m., constituency allowance Rs.45,000 p.m., office allowance Rs.45,000 p.m. and there are other allowances and perks. For every day besides cut of 2,000 rupees of daily allowance there should be cut of 1,700 rupees from salary, 1,500 rupees from constituency allowance, 1,500 rupees from office allowance and so on. People do not lose money however rich they are. When Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays come in between they also should be counted. If a whole session is disrupted MPs should not get travelling allowance for the session.

Presiding officers should not adjourn houses. If the noise is too much they should put on ear plugs and sit. MPs who disrupt should be suspended for at least three days and marshals should be used to carry out those who do want to leave the house. That was the practice before and last year it was done in Rajya Sabha on 9/3/2010. Many years ago Raj Narayan was a heavyweight MP and marshals had a tough time to take him out.

Some say MPs do other work outside Parliament. When Parliament is in session MPs are supposed to attend Parliament and the work they do outside does not count.

India should switch over to presidential system. India has many political parties and parliamentary system which works best in effective two-party system is not suited for India.

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