A new data has revealed how public representatives are living a higher middle-income class life despite they have often been seen in luxurious SUV and sedan cars.
As per IndiaSpend analysis of affidavits, it is learned that out of 4,910 MPs and MLAs, 4,848 have claimed that they earn less than Rs 10 lakh. The analysis includes 72% Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress members of parliament (MPs) and members of legislative assemblies (MLAs).
The figure is an eye-opener that how our political leaders put effort to pose them as common man, but fail to pursue in public discourse. The analysis found that as many as 75% of MPs and MLAs nationwide declared annual incomes less than Rs 10 lakh. Around 35% of lawmakers said their annual income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh while 40% have declared annual income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. It may be a bizarre observation for an ordinary citizen, but as many as 1,141 (24%) MPs and MLAs claimed exemption from income tax or have no income at all.
On the contrary, during budget speech on February 1, 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at people who evade to pay their taxes, and said: “We can conclude that we are largely a tax non-compliant society.”
Sharing income tax data, Jaitley had said that of 37 million individuals who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 9.9 million (27%) declared annual incomes below the exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh; 19.5 million (53%) declared annual incomes between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, while 7.6 million (20%) declared annual incomes of more than Rs 5 lakh.
If the annual incomes of family (incomes of spouse and dependents, as declared in their respective tax returns) are added to the incomes of MPs and MLAs, 62% legislators’ households have an income less than Rs 10 lakh.
About half (2,410) of India’s MPs and MLAs have declared household assets (movable and immovable assets of the elected member, spouse and dependent/s) of more than Rs 2 crore, of which 912 (38% of 2,410) declared family incomes of less than Rs 10 lakh.
Of 1,843 MPs and MLAs with family incomes of more than Rs 10 lakh, 106 declared household assets of less than Rs 1 crore.
Only quarter of 4,848 MPs/MLAs declare income more than Rs 10 lakh. Only 25% (1,236 of 4,848) of MPs and MLAs declared in tax returns that their annual incomes were more than Rs 10 lakh; 35% (1,676 of 4,848) declared incomes less than Rs 2.5 lakh.
Among regional parties, 83% Samajwadi Party (SP) MPs and MLAs, 78% of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), 68% of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and 80% of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) lawmakers reported incomes of less than Rs 10 lakh.
It seems that Indian lawmakers are not making moolah as 63% Lok Sabha MPs declared annual incomes of less than Rs 10 lakh while 13% Rajya Sabha MPs declared annual incomes of less than Rs 10 lakh.
As many as 1,676 (35%) elected representatives declared annual incomes less than Rs 2.5 lakh. Of these, 1,141 (24%) reported to the Election Commission that they were either exempt from income tax on various grounds, such as being a farmer, being from an area mentioned in the sixth schedule of the constitution–such as the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura–and so exempt from income tax, or have no income at all.