Members of Parliament eating subsidized meals?

vandana7 By vandana7, 28th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>Politics

Recent expose on Indian members of parliament eating meals that are almost 100 percent subsidized is going to have worse consequences.

All politicians are guilty

All those who have meals there, are guilty. It is not only members of parliament, but even members of legislative assembly who get delicious meal, at little or no cost. It is not only the members of ruling party but even member of opposition party. Their drivers, security guards, and other personnel too get such meals. In addition, they get to "buy" such meals for taking home. Effectively, when the parliament is in session, their food bills, and the meals of their employees, which may form part of the pay packet while negotiating employment, is all paid by the taxpayer.

Did we not know it?

Exposing it has sensationalized it. But such things were known before. Social media was not this powerful back then.

Double standards

Indian government has been asking people, especially taxpayers, to stop using the subsidy on gas. It has already removed part of the subsidy on petrol. But the politicians get a "quota", so it does not make an iota of difference to them. Moreover, if they want more than their quota, they just have to call the concerned official. The man or the woman, however well qualified to be the judge of the situation, dare not oppose the request because it carries the danger of minister's wrath behind it. The soft worded request has implied threat of unemployment or even death, depending upon how the minister was brought up. Some are really uneducated, badly brought up ruffians. Additional issues are that employees of such ministers also come with requests, and there is always a dilemma whether to honor such requests from employees without the ministers having directly mentioned. So who is taking away that "additional quota" of petrol and charging the exchequer? Your guess is as good as mine.

But aren't the politicians volunteering for such public service?

If so, yes, they are entitled to such meals. But not for their staff, and family. In such events, they should also not be entitled to pay since it is not a conventional "job". They should only be entitled to out of pocket expenses since they undertake to serve the country and the "temporary job" is not thrust on them. Which temporary job carries remuneration and benefits after the employment ceases? That of politicians. Once they become politicians, the "party" pays their medical bills, and who pays the money to the parties? At times such money is extorted, at other times, it is rich industrialists who pay to get some favors for giving that money. But all this is common knowledge. Some RTI activist is going to be shocked reading this and try to authenticate my accusations.

So where from here?

For now, the Modi government in India will change the amount that the politicians have to pay for their meals. Correspondingly, they will increase the pay of course. Effectively, nullifying the effect, of course. In fact, politicians get more for because parliamentary sessions are not held throughout the year, but paychecks are received every month. Of course, the amount for drivers and guards would also be added to that increase. Therefore, right to information activist has exposed another area of bonanza for politicians. The officials working under the ministers need to be appeased too, otherwise, they will expose many things, which would not be nice, would it? Therefore, all government officials can look forward to hike in pay.

It is the taxpayer's money

It gets cornered. We shout on top of our voices that there is no water no infrastructure, dilapidated railway over bridges, railway platforms that stink of feces, inadequate hospitals, lack of equipment at such hospitals, etc. etc. But when the politicians are taking with both hands, don't you think we need to do something about it? Shouldn't there be restrictions on payments to these politicians? Taxpayers include those from private sector and unorganized sector. In fact, most of us are in those sectors. Why should there be no way we can curtail such fleecing, while armed force personnel are denied proper remuneration?

I am left to wonder

Did Modi not know? He has been at the helm of affairs in his State. He must have eaten meal in that canteen at least once. He did at Delhi. So did it not strike him? Do we have a dim-witted guy as our Prime Minister, who is doing the male version of Pratibha Patil? Surely, those charges should have surprised him. I am also able to understand Raj Babbar's remarks now about surviving in this country for less than 1/3rd a day. They were comparing the meal costs with those at their canteen. Time these politicians got a taste of reality.


Members Of Parliament, Paycheck, Right To Information, Subsidized Meals

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author avatar vandana7
Hi...I suddenly remember ABBA ..I am nothing special...hope you like what I write, and I like what you write.

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author avatar Ram Bansal
28th Jun 2015 (#)

India has no Democracy but only exploitation of people is the objective of political system for a defective constitution -

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th Jun 2015 (#)

We take much for granted. Decades ago when long distant telephone calls used to cost high, I remember few made a beeline to politicians' places to make calls as it was free for them to serve the public!

China has made progress to "catch the flies and tigers", as they term it, to bring things under control. We should learn democracy and freedom do not mean anything goes! The festival of democracy is at the expense of the common citizens! siva

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