How Are The Nominated Members Of The Rajya Sabha Performing?
The Rajya Sabha or the Upper House has 12 nominated members. These members are nominated by the President on the advice of the government of the day. Article 80(3) of the constitution of India authorizes the President of India to nominate a maximum of 12 members to the Rajya Sabha and the members nominated shall have special knowledge or practical experience in the fields of Literature, Science, Art & Social Service.
There are 10 nominated members presently
Presently there are 10 nominated members. Four of them were nominated in 2010, five of them in 2012 and one in 2014. Two of the nominated members are lawyers, two are artists, one is a cricketer, one is an educationalist, one is an industrialist, one is a theatre personality and two of them belong to the Congress Party.
This story tracks their performance in terms of attendance, participation in debates, questions asked, MPLADS spending & the amount of expenditure incurred on them in the form of salary & allowances.
Attendance in the House – Rekha & Sachin Tendulkar hardly attend the house
Bhalchandra Mungekar has the highest attendance with 89% followed by Mrinal Miri & K T S Tulsi (88.5%). K Parasaran has 81% attendance. Mani Shankar Aiyar has 76% attendance. Anu Aga has 66.5% attendance followed by B Jayashree & Javed Akthar. The worst performers in attendance are Sachin Tendulkar (5.5%) and Rekha (5.1%).
Number of Questions Asked – Five of them score a duck
As on date, Bhalchandra Mungekar asked the highest number of questions (272), followed by Mani Shankar Aiyar (178). Five members did not ask a single question till date (K Parasaran, Rekha, Anu Aga, B Jayashree & Javed Akthar). K T S Tulsi asked 19 questions, Mrinal Miri asked 11 questions. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar recently started asking questions and has asked seven questions till date. Both the politicians have done much better than the others.
Participation in Debates – Politicians again in the front
The data on debates is available only till the 233rd session (till December, 2014). As per the available data, both the Congress politicians are leading even in debates. Bhalchandra Mungekar participated in 60 debates while Mani Shankar Aiyar participated in 65 debates. Three of the nominated members haven’t participated in a single debate (Sachin Tendulkar, Rekha & B Jayashree). The rest of the five member’s participation in debates is limited to single digits.
Under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for, works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency. The Nominated Members of the Rajya Sabha may select any Districts from any State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.
Under MPLADS, the role of the MP is limited to recommendation of works. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the District Authority to sanction, execute and complete the works recommended by the MP within the stipulated time period. The data used for the analysis is sourced from the MPLADS website as of 15th December, 2015.
Since the MP only has a recommendatory role, the analysis only looks at the amount entitled to the MP, amount available to spend and the amount recommended for works.
The amount entitled is not always equal to the amount available to spend since the release of funds is governed by certain rules. Fresh release of funds is subject to the furnishing the utilization certificate of the previous installments. Hence a greater amount is released by the government provided a greater amount is recommended by the MP and spent by the district authority.
While there is not much of a difference in the entitlement of a MP, the amount available varied between various MPs. Mani Shankar Aiyar, B Jayashree & Bhalchandra Mungekar had the highest amount available (more than 20 crore each) while K Parasaran, Rekha, Anu Aga & Sachin Tendulkar had less than 10 crore rupees available. Bhalchandra Mungekar recommended the highest amount for works (28.03 crore) followed by Mani Shankar Aiyar (27.13 crore). Four of the ten MPs had recommended works amounting to more than 20 crore. Sachin Tendulkar recommended works amounting to 14.95 crore. The other four MPs recommended works amounting to less than 10 crore each. The MPLADS details of K T S Tulsi were not available on the website.
Expenditure Incurred on Salary & Allowances – Bhalchandra Mungekar way ahead
The Rajya Sabha website has details of expenditure incurred on Salary & Allowances of MPs from August 2013. Each MP is entitled to the following,
Salary (Rs 50000 per month)
Constituency Allowance (Rs 45000 per month)
Office Expense Allowance (Rs 15000 per month)
Travel & Daily Allowance (TA/DA) (Variable)
Except K T S Tulsi, all the other MPs were in office since August 2013 (26 months). K T S Tulsi received the least amount since he started receiving his salary only from March 2014. Of the others, the highest expenditure was incurred on Bhalchandra Mungekar (more than a crore rupees), followed by B Jayashree (78 lakh rupees). The difference in the expenditure is only because of the TA/DA since all other components are fixed for every MP. It could be that the particular MP has attended the house more often than others and has travelled extensively than others. In the case of Bhalchandra Mungekar, his attendance is the highest and hence it is only natural that he receives the highest amount of daily allowance.
An expenditure of 36.18 lakh was incurred on Sachin Tendulkar while an amount of 44.14 lakh was incurred on Rekha. More than 60 lakh was incurred on both Javed Akthar & Mani Shankar Aiyar.