New beginnings, without new thinking, will end up as the same old story. Want to see a government that works? For a beginning, pay MLAs Rs. 1 crore and MPs 5 crore a month as salary. And save money. You may think the bill would be frightfully expensive. Let’s calculate:
175 MLAs X 12,00,00,000 = 2,100 crores
Add 6 crores per minister, per month X 25 (you don’t need more interferers than that) = 1,800 crores
15 crores per month to the CM X 12 = 180 crores
That’s a grand total of Rs.4,080 crores per year for Andhra Pradesh and 2,904 for Telangana. Not unaffordable, if you count all the benefits and consider that they control a budget of 1,60,000 crores.
Apart from this salary the MLAs and ministers will get nothing. Not a penny more. No house, no car, no personal peons, drivers, cooks, or security men. No travel, fuel, or phone allowances. They get nothing free! The advantages to the state can be more than what is paid out.
We will be clear what our representative is costing us. No hidden costs that can be incalculably expensive. And, above all, the representative had better work and deliver. He cannot dissemble that he is doing social service. He’s charging a bomb, and he will be pressured to give a big enough bang for the buck.
The representative has no excuse to be corrupt; even if he had to spend a few crores in the election, he will recover it openly in a year as salary. Imagine the savings in reduced number of government employees, removal of whole departments like Estate Department, Car Workshops etc. The saving on housing and freeing up of government land for commercial exploitation can be huge. A major benefit of representatives buying or renting their own houses, spread across the city, means they will understand markets, power cuts, water shortage, and sewerage troubles – problems they will never experience living in cloistered government enclaves. This goes for all government employees too. Double their salary if need be; but don’t give them housing or even a pin as a perk.
Less capital-intensive Capital
Another happy outcome of this would be the lowered expense of building a new capital. No government housing, no unnecessary departments means less need for monumental buildings.
More pay, less government
This same formula could be applied to the central government: MPs salary – Rs.5 crore/month. Ministers ( not more than 40) – Rs.15 crore/month. The Prime Minister – Rs.30 crore/month. It would total Rs. 40,560 crore per year out of a 16,00,000 crore budget. And if the PM knows he’s charging the nation a crore a day, he’ll work even in his sleep. Of course, all this should be coupled with less government intervention, simple rules, and zero discretionary power to bureaucrats and representatives.
Is there any representative bold enough to stand up for this salary and say, ‘I endorse this transparent costing of benefits I receive and, I am worth every Rupee of it!’