Why pension for corrupt people ?

Editorial

Representatives who cheat people should be punished under the prevalent laws and not be paid retirement pension !

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who has formed the Government for the first time in Punjab, has taken an important decision regarding pension to MLAs. Former MLAs will now get pension for only one term, irrespective of the number of times they been elected. The family pension will also be slashed accordingly.

Earlier, in Punjab, elected representatives were given separate pension for as many terms as they were elected. AAP’s decision will save crores of Rupees for the Government coffers. Over 75% of society in India is striving to survive under the prevalent economic conditions. The middle class, a major component of this, has to struggle to make both ends meet. From waking up in the morning to going to bed at night, middle class people have to struggle for many things. Fighting for basic infrastructural amenities such as water, health, education, roads, shelter, etc., the common man gets exhausted. Instead of fighting for the people’s rights, these representatives (who get elected by making promises), enjoy all these facilities themselves.

The children of many Ministers, MLAs, MPs study abroad, travel in expensive private cars, the people’s representatives live in luxurious bungalows. It is painful for the common man to see such people forget their duties but fill their own pockets. Those who have been elected to improve the standard of living of the common people, fail to provide basic amenities to the people and ignore their primary duties. Therefore, the decision taken in Punjab is touching the heart of the common man.

In Maharashtra, 288 MLAs of the Legislative Assembly and 78 of the Legislative Council are paid salaries, while 813 former MLAs are receiving pensions. The Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Ministers are paid a salary of Rs 2,85,000 per month. Ministers of State are paid Rs 2,63,000, while MLAs are paid Rs 2,40,973. On retirement, all of them get a pension of Rs 50,000 per month. The State exchequer spends Rs 179.94 crore per month on salaries and pensions of Ministers and MLAs.

How can people who grab pensions for many positions be called ‘servants’ of the people ?

Today, ordinary citizens are getting to know that crores of Rupees are being confiscated from the houses of many politicians in Maharashtra after action has been taken by the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department, Financial crime investigation agencies, etc.

It is a well-known fact that people’s represent-atives, who were just about financially stable before getting elected, become very rich after they get elected. Will the common man be able to accept that instead of imprisoning the looters of public money, crores of Rupees are being wasted on their salaries through various taxes they pay ?

Once a person elected as a corporator becomes an MLA and then an MP, he / she is paid a salary for all these posts. This means that a person can get salary for all the 3 posts – that of a corporator, an MLA and an MP at the same time; this is our system !

Most MPs refuse the salary of the first post when they get the next post; however, some representatives get paid for 2 or 3 posts at the same time.

Some time ago, it was found that one such representative, who was a corporator in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, was getting salary for both the posts even after becoming an MLA. A person who has a Government job cannot get Government salary for 2 jobs at the same time. However, this rule does not apply to people’s representatives !

Retirement pension should be based on work appraisal

The concept of a democratic system is that elected representatives should serve the people as per the Constitution. There is an arrangement to pay pension to one who has resolved to perform public service so that he does not face any financial difficulty in discharging his duties. However, given the current situation, contesting elections has become the monopoly of the rich.

Where a person from an ordinary family cannot even pay the ‘deposit’ to fill the candidature form for elections, how will he spend crores on the election ? Therefore, candidates who can afford to spend crores are nominated by political parties.

Why and for what purpose should pensions be paid to those who spend crores and get crores in a corrupt manner after getting elected ? This needs to be considered at some point. Candidates make many promises to get elected; however, after getting elected, they do not fulfil their own promises.

Representatives who cheat people should be punished under the prevalent laws and not be paid retirement pension. So far this has not happened. This is why, Democracy is in such a bad state.

If a job is not done as per Government standards, the contractor is blacklisted. If the work of people is not done, why not evaluate the work of the people’s representatives ? Their salary and pension should be determined after evaluating their work. No one is saying that people’s representatives should not get pensions. The question is, if someone is getting rich at the expense of the people, it is not in the interest of the Nation and Democracy.

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