August 1, 2017
Number of Lok Sabha sittings has dropped from 123 days a year in 1952 to 75 in 2016.
On Tuesday, BJP member Varun Gandhi questioned the lawmakers’ power to hike their own salaries & objected to important bills like Aadhaar being passed without any serious discussion or referring such bills to a parliamentary panel.
Raising this issue during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha he also pitched for an external body to decide upon the salary hike for the lawmakers while wondering if MPs had “earned” the 400% remuneration hike they’d given to themselves in the last decade.
He asked “When matters regarding salary’re raised recurrently; it makes me worry about moral compass of the House. About 18,000 farmers have committed suicide over the last 1 year. Where’s our focus??”
He said it’s “shameful” that the no. of sittings in the Lok Sabha dropped from 123 days a year in 1952 to just 75 in 2016.
“Winter Session, 2016, hit a low point of 16%. It’s shameful. Taxation bills, as significant as Aadhaar, were passed within 2 weeks without being referred to a committee,” he added.
Mr. Varun Gandhi’s strong statement on not referring the ‘Aadhaar Bill’ to a Parliamentary committee isn’t likely to go down well with the govt., as the opposition parties had too accused it of ramming the major Bill through the House.
Hitting out at the practice of parliamentarians to often raise the demand for a Salary hike, he said that the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet, at its 1st meeting, had taken a collective decision not to avail salaries for 6 months in view of the people’s sufferings at that time.
The BJP member said taking without justification the authority to increase their own compensation wasn’t in line with the morals of democracy.
‘Broad message of insensitivity’
Referring to the recent protests of Tamil Nadu farmers in the national capital and he noted that they had drunk their urine & demonstrated with skulls of fellow farmers who had committed suicide, in order to strongly make their point.
Mr. Gandhi then noted that the Tamil Nadu Assembly on 19th July doubled the salaries of its legislators, a decision which sent a “broad message of insensitivity”.
As compared to 13% rise in the United Kingdom, Indian lawmakers had raised their salaries by 400% in the last 1 decade. “Have we really earned such a massive increment?” he questioned.
“When bills are passed without any serious deliberation, it defeats the very purpose of having a Parliament.”
“41% of bills introduced have been passed without any discussion,” Mr. Gandhi noted.
He said the U.K. has an independent authority – Review Body on Senior Salaries, consisting of distinguished non-members, to advise the govt. on the pay & pensions of MPs.
“For the greater good of the nation we must create such an external body, independent of us members, to determine the salaries; or, if we self-regulate, considering the economic conditions in the society, we must empathetically forego our privileges,” he said.
Source - PTI