Thursday, May 19, 2011

The privileged citizens...

These two news headlines explains much.

1. MLAs' assets grow more than all other investments in India

According to analysis of affidavits done by the Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch, the percentage rise in assets of re-contesting MPs in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections was 289%. In the recent assembly elections, ADR's comparisons based on assets of 337 re-contesting candidates from four states and one Union territory indicated an average increase of 71% to 195%. This is the increase recorded in the MLAs asset compared to the declaration in previous election.

Tamil Nadu topped the list with its 97 re-contesting MLAs having almost tripled their assets in the past five years, an increase of 195%. Assam was just a little behind with the average increase being 187% and Kerala another step back at 175%. Puducherry with an average of 136% growth in assets and West Bengal with 71% brought up the rear.

Article copied from IIK -

The above is from the declared assets while one is still in the dark about those stashed abroad. And then we also have those on the "privileged" list who live on these elected representatives.

Do have a check on your MLA/MP and maybe you can keep a track of his/her "development" before the next election is due. The following site can help you in this.

2. 59% of PDS grains do not reach households: World Bank

Despite India spending over two per cent of GDP in social protection schemes, returns in terms of poverty reduction are yet to reach full potential, a World Bank report has said, pointing to "high leakages" in PDS and "uneven implementation" of MNREGA across states.

According to the report "Social Protection for a Changing India", the effect of PDS on poverty reduction is low due to "high leakages to non-poor" and weak administrative features.

The following are excerpts from Global Monitoring Report 2011 by the World Bank:

Service delivery often fails the poor

A recent study reports results from surveys in which enumerators made unannounced visits to primary schools and health clinics in Bangladesh, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Peru, and Uganda. They recorded whether they found teachers and health workers in the facilities.On average, about 19 percent of teachers and 35 percent of health workers were absent, and many teachers and health workers in their facilities were not working. Across Indian government-run schools, only 45 percent of teachers assigned to a school were engaged in teaching at any given time.

In India, even though most children of primary-school age were enrolled in school, 35 percent of them could not read a simple paragraph and 41 percent could not do a simple subtraction.

Another dimension of information for accountability, tested in two studies in India,yielded mixed results. In both studies, villagers were provided with information about their rights and responsibilities for education, provision and oversight. One part of the country showed no impact from providing information alone, and a different part of the country showed some impact on student learning through improved service provision by teachers. It seems clear that, although providing information for accountability to citizens may be important, it is ineffective to simply give communities information on school quality without also increasing their ability to take action.

The following shows the estimates of poverty reduction on a poverty line of $1.25 and $2.00 a day, by region:


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the post! .. Your comparison of recontesting MLAs assets and that with non-delivery of services to our people was superb.

    Just some thoughts. The example given here is of Tamil Nadu for having the highest growth in income of MLAs. Tamil Nadu has one of the better PDS systems and primary and secondary education. In fact its mid-day meal programme was one of the revolutionary steps in administration. I think this would not have been possible if our politicians had no idea about the people... if not people atleast votes!!!

    I think for primary education, enrollment is not an issue as much as it is the drop out rate. This is particularly true across urban, semi-urban and rural/tribal parts esp. the North.

    The funny thing is that most of our corporate media keeps on saying that there is a leakage in PDS, so it should be reduced, subsidies should be cut ... so on and so forth. While most our IT companies get away with some of the lowest taxes in the world and still they are fighting for their extension of STPI and other corporate give aways. With their influence they might be able to get that as well. No wonder our seeking to be representatives have tripled their investments.

    Whatever its flaws, I feel Indian democracy does give hope to many of those citizens who are left out of the ambit of economic gains. Its upto us, the electorate to keep on making movements to demand accountability from the political system.

    - Deeps

  2. That sounds like a joke to me.At the recent elections in Kerala,many of the MLAs had nothing worth declaring.How much do you think Azhagiri is worth? or even Karunanidhi for that matter? I am sure they would say they don't have a taxable income.

  3. Thank you for the info. Interesting and depressing.

    Why esquire about the goon Azhagiri's worth. Let us see what Karunakaran's son and daughter are worth.What was the old mans finance when he was a mere trade union activist in the Spinning mill in Trichur decades ago.
    What is Balkrishan Pillai worth? Where did he and how did he amass ll he has now ?

    Karunanidhi family is considered the third wealthiest in Asia.

    The mockery that they make us people is when they displaye the air of the innocent and hounded.

  4. Deeps: Yes.. I read that it was Kamaraj who started state wide mid day meal programme, although various versions were in existence in other states. But then he was a "people's" leader and was one of the best. He has left a good legacy in T.N.. But I also read that the dev in TN is not even, the poor being mostly left out and this has to be because of the greedy leaders that we see presently.

    I think they will not do away with the present PDS system but are thinking of different Cash or coupons.. and as you said we need a vigilant public and media so that it is the poor that takes the benefit and not the rich.

    nd yes, the Indian democracy has come a long way and would have done even better if we did not have such rampant corruption.

    Doc: the wealth of most of these elected representatives have increased susbtantially after they were elected to public offices and we are sure it is not from their salaries.. yes.. there is much more not accounted too.. the whole setup is indeed a big JOKE on the public.

    Anil: yes.. the wealth amassed is astounding! but let me blame the voters too since most of them have accepted this idea of wealth creation through public offices. But thank God, the judiciary is forced to wake up.. at least we are seeing some of them paying for their deeds. There is hope I feel. and the judiciary needs to insist that the amount ought to be paid back to the public, else a few years in jail will be nothing.


Blog Archive