31% Lok Sabha MPs face criminal charges: Report
Some 31 per cent of MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal cases pending against them, and their pay package is 68 times higher than the national per capita income, according to the National Social Watch Report on Governance and Development-2013 released here on Tuesday.
New Delhi: Some 31 per cent of MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal cases pending against them, and their pay package is 68 times higher than the national per capita income, according to the National Social Watch Report on Governance and Development-2013 released here on Tuesday.
"The pay package of MPs in India is higher than that of their counterparts in Singapore, Japan, Italy, and Pakistan. In terms of the ratio of the package to the national per capita income, India ranks second after Kenya, and pays almost double than the US," said National Social Watch spokesperson Amitabh Behar.
The report said as many as 152 MPs (31 per cent) in the 15th Lok Sabha have criminal cases pending against them, while nearly 17 per cent of women MPs face criminal charges.
On the functioning of Parliament, the report stated that around 577 and 442 hours were lost in disruptions and forced adjournments in the nine sessions of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during 2010-12, respectively.
"Budget, monsoon and winters sessions each saw the Lok Sabha working for an average of less than four hours per day during its 227 sittings, and losing in the process about 577 hours in disruptions and adjournments," the report said.
In the same time period, the Rajya Sabha worked for 744 hours in 228 sittings. It functioned for three hours per sitting instead of scheduled five hours.
"During 2010-11, seven of the 24 Department Related Standing Committees (DRSC) did not meet at all, and some committees had rather brief meetings. Four of them did not meet during the first half of 2011-12," the report said.
The spokesperson said increasing resort to "street politics" within the two Houses has compromised its efficiency as crucial bills remain pending for years, or passed without sufficient deliberations.
"Despite the promise of the path-breaking food security bill, the budget outlay for food subsidy has been raised marginally from Rs 86,705.5 crore in 2012-13 (Revised Estimate) to Rs 91,591.4 crore in 2013-14 (Budget Estimate)," the report said.
Among other key highlights, the report said 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.
It stated that the amounts of Rs 5,799.3 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 9,963.9 crore in 2011-12 allocated for about 2.5 lakh Local Governing Bodies looked peanuts when compared to about Rs 4,000 crore per annum allotted to about 800 MPs under the local area development (LAD) fund.
There was also stagnation in social-sector spending from the union budget and one farmer committed suicide in every 32.75 minutes, while 256,913 farmers committed suicides between 1995 and 2010, according to the report.
The report was released by Supreme Court judge Justice Ananga Patnaik, and former Chief Information Commissioner Satyanand Mishra.