Number of ministers in Manmohan Singh council: 79
Number of ministers from Lok Sabha: 64
Number of ministers from Rajya Sabha: 15
Number of crorepati ministers from Lok Sabha: 47 out of 64
Total assets of ministers of UPA team: Rs 5 billion or Rs 500 crore
Average worth of each MP in 15th Lok Sabha: Rs 5.1 crore
Average assets of each minister: Rs 75 million or Rs 7.5 crore
Number of Indians who get by with less than Rs 20 a day: 836 million
Rise in price of rice between 2004-08: 45 per cent
Rise in price of wheat between 2004-08: 60 per cent
P. Sainath in The Hindu:
“In a complex and layered verdict driven by many factors, one factor seems clear: most governments that stressed welfarish measures—particularly cheap rice and employment—gained in last month’s election results. This was regardless of which party was leading them–the Congress, the BJP, the BJD, the DMK or any other. Some of these measures might not have led to large numbers of people going out to vote for those governments. But they at least lowered hostility levels amongst the voters in a hungry nation.”
Read the full article: Price of rice, price of power
Also read: Everybody loves a good number: 93, 77, 54, 33…
Thanks for posting Sainath’s telling story.
Chandrababu Naidu has confessed that he got carried away by business journals nominating him repeatedly as the best CM ever and as the CEO of hyderabad among other such grand titles gifted to him.
Yes, sure he was a great CM. Great CM only for the well-fed corporates.
He made the fat cats fatter, while the starving starved.
Why should the starving wait for the fat cats to have their fill, before the trickle down effect starts?
Why should the fat cats have the first right to resources while the wretched wait on the margins?
Lesson: If governments have to govern well, don’t listen to economic journals. Their agenda and vision are limited.
P Sainath’s analysis is ‘intelligence in hindsight’. He too, like most others did not have a clue as to how Indians would vote in the elections. If he was so confident of the pro-poor measures taken by state govts, surely he should have been a little more cocky about predicting Congress’s win!?!?!?!
Today, we see in the papers that NASSCOM has demanded an extended tax holiday for the IT industry, because of the recession.
IT Industry wants tax holiday when there is recession
IT industry wants tax holiday when there is economic boom.
In short, IT industry wants tax holiday perpetually.
While other poorer industries have back breakign taxes, the rich IT industry ges away with no taxes? What a strange irony.
Typical Sainath article. But he has a point though, that people are just voting for the party that gives the best “handout”, which is unfortunate and is disastrous in the long run. A simple rating downgrade as a result of too many of these freebie programs can wipe out all the benefits that can be derived from these “handout”. As the saying goes ‘penny wise and pound foolish’
You bring up excellent points… Agree with most. Esp. the IT industry. I don’t understand the logic of asking for crutches even being in business for 10-15 years.
Policitics is very lucrative in India? That’s the reason most people go into it? No surprise. What is ironic is how Congress always gets away with being pro-poor when it is really not through PC statements and all kinds of affirmative action schems(cover up for not building any schools or colleges) and handout schemes (cover up for not building any infrastructure for the economy7) to delude illiterate voters…I guess they want India to be forever dependent on government handouts which they have the prerogative to give out…How about doing something like building schools, universities and infrastructure so India will not be a country dependent on government handouts?
In our great democracy every election is a deja vu for the elected as well as electors. The elected want to keep the electors always poor, hungry and unemployed, so that they can win elections after elections promising Roti Kapadaa and Makaan until the next millinium.
It is Jai Ho for the crorepati politicians and it is always bhay ho for the poor electorate.
Great points. I have been peeved with NASSCOM’s receny call and my first reaction to the political numbers by churumuri was ‘What about the IT honchos’. You are being gererous and calling it ironic, but I’m pissed. To me it is daroDe by the beacons of the society..
Back in the day, the ‘Tax Holiday’ was one of the best initiatives undertaken by the Indian government. It helped cut the red-tape and let the nascent sector gain critical mass. It is one of the few schemes that spawned spectacular results. Thanks to it, today, Indian IT has a name and a place in the world and is doing exceedingly well. Just look at the numbers : IT was 7% of GDP in 2008 ; IT Exports were 35% of all exports ; bell-weather INFY has a $5 billion projected revenue for 2009 with $2 billion in cash ! Projections for sector, for 2009 are circa $48 billion and $60+ billion by 2011.
The ‘Tax Holiday’ helped the IT sector. But none in their right senses can claim it needs FURTHER support via an extension. But unfortunately in India the exception ends up becoming the rule ! Once you give something, it’s hard to revert it back. The shameless IT honchos know this all too well and are more than happy to stuff their pockets than be model citizens and pay up the dues. ‘5/10-MORE YEARS of exemption from Corporate Income Tax (upto 90% of turnover), Sales Tax, Customs Duty, Excise duty. Details ‘ is no freaking pocket change.We are talking Rs.10-25,000 crores here..
The IT honchos who are quick to point a finger when the infrastructure slips up are woefully silent. Why not do the right thing, lead by example, and pay up the dues like most other industries ? Despite their companies raking in several millions, year after year, these guys come back with a veiled threat to justify the call for the extension ? — China is adopting IT friendly policies that will jeopardize our position as the No.1. Whatever ! If so, if we wipe out the corporate taxes across the board, we will be the new tax-haven ! Why not do that ?
Hope the government gives the IT sector what it badly needs — a good spank on it’s bottom, and asks it to pay up the dues. Enough is enough..
There is a bill which will be brought up soon in the US, which if passed, will stop the current immigration fraud indulged in by big Indian IT companies. That is they wont be able to get H1s and L1s and send desperate go and work in the US as ‘consultants’ and ‘contractors’.
Some of the clauses (e.g. sec 102) are specifically aimed at companies like Wipro, Infosys, TCS and their smaller clones.
A strong possibility is that the IT labor barterers will then start leveraging the free land usurped with the help of government officials and politicians, and liquidity from paying no tax etc. to show growth and keep up profits. And maybe quietly ‘diversify’ into real estate, education and such related activities.
We should be seeing more Satyams in the coming months…
All power to Sainath’s writing. Once again he is bang on target – cutting through all the BS and showing us reality.
Sandesh and Madhu Rao.
If MPs r millionaires, it is not their fault.
Nobody stopped u 2become millionaire?
After all who chooses them to seat of power ?
v & poor masses, only. Then why u r envies?
Poor people see some qualities &
they don’t find anybody better
hence they choose them.
Why don’t u fight the election & show ur worth
instead of writing abt wealth of MPs?
Yes if u have some proof of some criminal act to amass
the wealth then u must come out.