The Real Parliamentary Balance Sheet
The Parliament of India celebrated its 60th anniversary on the May 13, 2012.
While there is much discontent on the subject of parliamentarians delivering on their mandates to the people of the country, IndiaSpend's Sourjya Bhowmick felt it would be instructive to scan the actual parliamentary balance sheet looking at allocations and expenses.
What we know is that total administrative expenditure on both houses of Parliament is Rs 719 crore for 2011-12. This figure has risen for various reasons, particularly between last and this one, up almost Rs 104 crore.
Walkouts or no walkouts (last year, in the 9th session of the 15th Lok Sabha Nov 22- December 29, 2011, Parliament functioned for 82 hours 45 minutes while time lost due to interruptions and forced adjournments was 76 hours 21 minutes ), the lights are always on.
And by the way, the Leader of the Opposition (along with staff) gets a better pay package than the Speaker & Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.
The Case Of The Missing MPs
The Upper House or the Rajya Sabha which is modelled on the UK House Of Lords is allowed by the Constitution to have a maximum of 250 members. Of these 12 are to be nominated by the President from the fields of Literature, Arts, Science and Social Services having ‘practical experience’ as prescribed in the Article 80(3) of the Constitution.
The Rajya Sabha presently has 242 members and 3 vacancies. The Lok Sabha on the other hand has 543 members presently and 2 nominated members. However, there are two vacancies presently. The Parliament like every other ministry gets a budget of its own every year from the Finance Ministry. Before that let us see the different heads and it’s classifications of both the houses.
Both the houses of the Parliament have 6 different heads under which money is spent. These are:
|Expenditure of the Parliament|
|1) Salary and allowances of Speaker/Deputy Speaker|
|2) Salary and allowances of the Opposition Leader and his secretariat|
|3) Salary, Allowances of Members+ Delegations going Abroad+ Foreign delegations visiting|
|4) Secretariat( Salary of staffs+ officers+ establishment costs+ Subsidy for Railways canteen operating in the Parliament+ Lok Sabha TV)|
|5) Salary and allowances of the staffs and officers of the secretariat of chief whips|
|6) Annual membership fee , contributions to the Inter Parliamentary Union and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association|
All the expenditure heads are almost the same in both the houses. However, the Rajya Sabha has a Chairman and Deputy Chairman instead of Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Moreover, The Rajya Sabha, in the serial number of 3 and 6 has two more heads included. They are expenditure on setting up of chair in Parliamentary Studies and Domestic travel of Member of Parliament’s for consultative committee meetings.
Lok Sabha’s Rs 435 cr Budget
The total expenditure budgeted on the Lok Sabha is Rs 435 crore this year. The following table will give an idea of the expenditure for the Lok Sabha this year:
|Amount (Rs Crore)||Heads|
|0.87||Speaker+ Deputy Speaker|
|1.15||The Leader of the Opposition and his secretariat|
|225||Salary, Allowances of Members+ Delegations going Abroad+ Foreign delegations visiting|
|207||Salary of staffs+ officers+ establishment costs+ Subsidy for Railways canteen operating in the Parliament+ Lok Sabha TV|
|0.22||Salary and allowances of the staffs and officers of the secretariat of chief whips|
|0.98||Annual membership fee , contributions to the Inter Parliamentary Union and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association|
Rajya Sabha’s Budget
The total expenditure on Rajya Sabha is Rs 284 crore this year. Now, let’s see the Rajya Sabha’s budget for the year
|Amount (Rs Crore)||Heads|
|1.32||The Leader of the Opposition and his secretariat|
|115||Salary, Allowances of Members+ Delegations going Abroad+ Foreign delegations visiting+ Chair of Parliamentary studies|
|166||Salary of staffs+ officers+ establishment costs+ Subsidy for Railways canteen operating in the Parliament+ Rajya Sabha TV|
|0.29||Salary and allowances of the staffs and officers of the secretariat of chief whips|
|0.81||Expenditure on domestic travel of MP’s for consultative committee meetings|
Thus the total expenditure on Parliament this year amounts to Rs 719 crore (Rajya Sabha+ Lok Sabha). Let us give you an idea of what has been the total expenditure on parliament over the last five years, excluding this year which is already mentioned.
|Year||( Rajya Sabha+ Lok Sabha)||Total Expenditure on Parliament||Increase (+)|
(Rs in Crores)
This year the budget is Rs 719 crore for both the houses, which is an increase of Rs 95 crore from 2011-2012, when the budget was Rs 624 crore. One interesting thing that is observed from the above table is the expenditure on Lok Sabha in the year 2010-2011, when it decreased by Rs 43 crore from Rs 385 crore in the year 2009-2010.
We followed the change and noticed that apart from the salary of the speaker/deputy speaker and annual membership contributions every other heads of expenditure shows a drop.
Do note that our analysis excludes the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD)contributions, which add up to over Rs 6,447 crore for Rajya Sabha and Rs 15,731 crore for Lok Sabha till the 31st of March, 2012 since its inception in 1993.
The total of this amount is Rs 22,178 crore, falls outside the budget of the Parliament. Last year, the MPLAD fund was also increase by 150% which would lead to an annual expenditure of Rs 2,370 crore.