Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Think Before You Forward: MP Salary in India (Myth Busted)

There's been a very clever e-mail running around in Indian inboxes for many years. It cleverly exploits multiplication into making people think that MPs are a huge waste of national resources. The mail first is this:

Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)
Monthly Salary : 12,000
Expense for Constitution per month : 10,000
Office expenditure per month : 14,000
Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : 48,000
(eg.For a visit from kerala to Delhi & return: 6000 km)
Daily DATA during parliament meets : 500/day
Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times)
(All over India )
Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A .)
Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free
Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units
Local phone call charge : Free up to 1 ,70,000 calls.
TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : 32,00,000 [ i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]
TOTAL expense for 5 years : 1,60,00,000
For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years :
8,54,40,00,000 (nearly 855 crores)
This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities....... 

and then it goes on giving a number of pictures of poor people in India and telling 855 crores could do great for them.

The Myth:
There's more than 1 problem in this claim.

Firstly, the calculation of monthly salary is done by adding the real salary + the concessions the MPs receive for their travels or communication (which they of course must do)

The first 3 lines are quite sound.
Monthly salary, expense of constitution, office expenditure which adds up to 36,000 (the real salary)
The daily salary of 500 for parliament days can also be considered in this.
That's an added 15,000 per month taking the toll to 51,000 (though the parliament doesn't happen in every day of every month)

They then add 48,000 to it in the name of traveling concession (6000 km to Delhi @ Rs 8/km)
Quite agreeable. (Though I could still argue about the need for an MP to go to the capital city. Why do we need MPs at parliaments? Can't they sit at home?)

I add that too and get 99,000. Just under 100 k.

But the mail claims the salary to be 266 k by considering the other concessions the MPs receive.
I don't know how they add, but the concession for first class train fare any number of times, business class plane fare 40 times, free calls, free electricity, and even the rent for MPs hostel at Delhi are all added to the equation.
What is the mail trying to do? The real expenditure is just 100 k. It's made to go to 266 k. And that too by adding pseudo expenditures.
Note that the free calls, free electricity units, etc need not be consumed totally. (Of course they would be used up only if the MPs really work for the country)
And why the bloody hell is the MP hostel if not for the MPs to reside free of cost?

And in between the mail just claimed that the MPs have "no qualification" upon which I do not wish to comment at all.

The train & the plane fairs are the only things that could be told as wasteful because the MPs are already being given Rs 8 per km for travel.
And I don't know how they add up to 266 k per month.

But assume that this is really true. That we spend 266,000 per month for an MP.

So, how much is that? How much money do you need to live per month?
50,000? No?
25,000? even lower?
meager 10,000?
So, an MP "spends" 26.6 times an average Indian.
Considering that there are only 550 MPs for a population of a billion, I can without any hard feelings allow them to spend that.
And that too including all those ludicrous "costs" of rent at MP hostel, free calls, etc.

Now the most interesting calculations.
Imagine you earn 25,000 per month.
That's 300,000 per annum.
Now take 500 people like you.
All of you collectively earn  150,000,000 per annum.
And in 5 years you people earn 75 crores!!! (Not so surprised?)
75 crores would also have been enough for all those poor. So you should be thrown out of the country.

Just know that multiplying monthly salary by time and number of people increases it multi-multi fold.

And to the emotion that made this forward a success, the joy that you receive when you criticize politicians and politics.
It shows only your ignorance in hosting these kinds of stupid ideas.
Politics has of course been corrupted, but only as much as anything else has been.
And our constitution still shines as a beacon of knowledge and justice above everything.
And if you are so good in managing the country, why don't you show what you can do?

If politicians are still corrupt it's only because the voters are still fools.

The best argument against democracy has been and will always be a five minute conversation with the average voter.

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