Reading through some newspapers letters to the editor, I could see a lot of generally well meaning middle class folks protesting against the salary hikes the elected representatives gave themselves.
MPs to get salary hike: Bill introduced
The Bill sought to increase slaries of MPs from Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 besides raising the daily allowance to Rs 1,000 from Rs 500, Dasmunsi said.
Yes many in middle class of India actually believe that todays politicians in India are all crooks and don't deserve to be paid a single naya paisa as salary not to mention the meager long overdue hike they gave themselves. But the current breed of politicians is the effect of low salaries we have in effect. It is well known IT industry in India has filched the best talent due to decent salaries it pays. Right now only the corrupt politician can survive the expenses of politicking and being out of office without a decent salary package. Not to forget we get what we pay for.
In my not so humble opinion they pay themselves ridiculously low salaries. Since the President of the republic is supposed to have highest salary in this whole hierarchy here is what I would propose as salaries (Tax-Free).
1. President of India: 1 Crore(10Million Rupees)
2. MP( Member of Parliament): 50 L (5 Million Rupees)
3. MLA(Member of Legislative Assembly):24L (2.4 Million Rupees)
4. Municipal Corporaters(Metros): 12L (1.2 Million Rupees)
5. Municipal Corporaters(2nd rung towns): 6L (600,000 Rupees)
6. Municipal Corporaters(small towns): 3L (300,000 Rupees)
7. Village Panchayat Members: 1.5L (150,000 Rupees)
Pension for next 5 years after they are no longer elected representatives:
1. MP( Member of Parliament): 25 L (2.5 Million Rupees)
2. MLA(Member of Legislative Assembly):12L (1.2 Million Rupees)
3. Municipal Corporaters(Metros): 6L (600,000 Rupees)
4. Municipal Corporaters(2nd rung towns): 3L (300,000 Rupees)
5. Municipal Corporaters(small towns): 2L (200,000 Rupees)
6. Village Panchayat Members: 1L (100,000 Rupees)
An additional 25% performance bonus based on ratings provided by the electors in a representatives constituency might just provide sufficient incentive to perform on measurable parameters.
These kind of salaries might even induce politicians to shun small amounts of money as bribes.
Apart from this state funding of elections can also go a long way in reducing corruption.
Proposed Funding for elections can be made available in the form of reimbursement of actual expenses of top 3 candidates to upper limit of:-
1. Parliament Elections: 50L(5Million Rupees)
2. State Legislatures: 15L (1.5 Million Rupees)
3. Municipal Elections(Metro): 5L ( 500,000 Rupees)
4. Municipal Election(2nd rung towns): 2L (200,000 Rupees)
5. Municipal Election(Small towns): 1L (100,000 Rupees)
6. Village Panchayat Elections: 25K (25000 Rupees)
and for next 2 candidates:-
1. Parliament Elections: 10L (1Million Rupees)
2. State Legislatures: 3L (300,000 Rupees)
3. Municipal Elections(Metro): 2L (200,000 Rupees)
4. Municipal Election(2nd rung towns): 50K(50000 Rupees)
An environment where representatives focus on governance and don't have to worry about arranging funds for the next election and don't have to worry about living in penury(that would actually be the case if they were honest ) after they are out of elected office might actually result in students aspiring for a political career as a respectable and honourable career option.
However bad our politicians are they are accountable to us even today, as opposed to the bureaucrats who while being relatively honest are generally slothful and inefficient and standing in the way our progress.