Last week, a ruling UPA member of the Lok Sabha introduced a Bill proposing that MPs shouldn’t get their daily pay if sessions are disrupted due to their unruly behaviour. Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had recommended the same “no work, no pay” principle last year, frustrated with the gross disrespect shown to the institution by members who rush to the well of the House and block any rational debate on vital policy matters. That had been summarily rejected by all political parties.
Will fresh effort now initiated in the private member Bill convince our legislators that they must be accountable to citizens and taxpayers? We would remind them of the costs of disruption. Mint’s Parliament Cost Tracker (below) estimates that the current session has wasted nearly Rs8 crore and the winter one, Rs9 crore. There’s more: MPs disrupted work and then did overtime, costing us an extra Rs11 crore and Rs8 crore, respectively — a double whammy.
We hope the more responsible among our MPs act on the “no work, no pay” proposal this time around.