Report Card on Performance of 21 MPs of Odisha
Berhampur, Report Card on performance of Members of Parliament (MPs) released by the members of civil society and Youth for Social Development (YSD) here in Hotel Radha, Berhampur Odisha today.
Performance of Members of Parliament is prime important because of their role as a legislature and at the same time execution of projects under the MPLAD. The performance analysis process is one of the instruments and testimony of our parliament members (MPs) that also stands as a key indicator of the healthy democracy and its legislative process. We are in an era of greater transparency and accountability. Power corridors where interest groups once operated behind an opaque maze of rules have to adjust to a new atmosphere of public scrutiny. In this context Youth for Social Development (YSD), an independent non-profit organization based in Odisha has been working towards promoting transparency, and accountability in governance through participatory approach. YSD started analyzing MP’s performance and utilization of MPLAD funds during the end of 15th Lok Sabha.
The 16th Lok Sabha has completed its 4th year and there will be election for the 17th Lok Sabha in 2019. Citizens in general and voters in particular would like to vote in 2019 elections based on the past performance of their representatives. In this context, it is essential for the voters to be aware of their representative’s performance. This analysis has been limited to 21 MPs in Odisha in Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Parliament) for a period of four years i.e. 2014 to 2018. The performance audit of the MPs of Odisha on the basis of three key parameters (parliamentary affairs) like attendance in parliament sessions, participation in debate, questions asked and the utilisation of MPLAD funds. In addition to this aggregated report we have also prepared individual ‘Performance Report Card’ by segregating with a detailed profile, performance rank and score, parliamentary performance and MPLAD fund utilisation for demystifying individual performance of the elected officials.
The major findings of the report card are as follows;
Shri. Bhartuhari Mahatab, Cuttack is ranked 1 (topped) with a score of 54.9 and Shri Rama Chandra Hansdah, Mayurbhanj, is ranked 21st (lowest) with 18.3 score among 21 MPs in Odisha.
Only three MPs of Odisha Shri. Bhartuhari Mahatab, Cuttack (1st rank), Dr. Kulamani Samal, Jagatsinghpur (2nd rank), Shri. Rabindra Kumar Jena, Balasore (3rd rank) are able to cross 50 overall performance score out of total 100 score.
All most all the MPs of Odisha have spent more than 69% of the MPLADS funds except Smt. Rita Tarai, Jajpur (BJD) who only spent 57% of her quota of MPLADS and is a poor performer in this category and Shri. Tathagata Satapathy, Dhenkanal (BJD) utilised the highest 116%.
Sector-wise, railways, roads, pathways and bridges top the list, with nearly 43% of the MPLADs fund being spent on this sector.
Overall performance of the female MPs (score 39.9) have scored all most equal to the male MPs (score 40.37).
MPs with political family background have utilised the highest percentage of MPLAD funds (79%).
Members of Parliament from central region have performed well in terms of ‘overall performance’ and ‘MPLAD fund utilisation’ but MPS from southern and northern region have shown poor utilisation of MPLAD funds and scored average in overall performance.
Performance score of the MPs with graduation and above is 41.6. This is similar to the performance of MPs that have just passed matriculation (41.7)
In case of Odisha MPs only 11 members have introduced a private member’s bill.
In Odisha a total number of 33 villages have been selected for Adarsh Gram out of total target 63.
Despite the findings we have come up with few policy implications to bring greater transparency and accountability of the public funds as well as the responsiveness of the elected officials.
Steps need to be taken in order to ensure that the members adhere to the rules and guidelines of the scheme.
The Union Government or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha may be vested with powers to stop the fund flow in case of any violation of guidelines.
Citizens need to pro-actively send proposals for various works under MPLAD funds. This in turn may create pressure on the concerned members to utilise the fund in a meaningful manner.
It is observed that members accumulate and spend the entire fund towards the last year of their tenure. This only result in increased costs, hence timely utilisation of funds may be ensured.
It is necessary to include social audit of assets created under MPLAD funds by the people. This may be designed on the similar lines MGNREGS social audit. This would ensure greater accountability on the part of the elected representatives.
Political parties and candidates should publicly disclose MPLAD fund utilization in their election manifesto and should give in writing to the voters for 100% efficient and better utilization.
The Union Government or the Speaker of the Lok Sabha should disclose the numbers of visits of the MPs to their respective constituencies during their tenure. On the other hand they should also disclose the number of criminal cases, financial background, assets details of the MPs in the Lok Sabha website.
In this release event civil society organisations like Coalition Against Corruption, Coalition of Active Citizens, Manav Adhikar Surakshya Mancha, Forum for Ganjam, Ganjam Zilla Vikas Mancha and other members of civil society, social activists, farmer associations and cultural organisations were present and shared their views to make the elected representatives accountable and the public funds transparent and open to public scrutiny. Sri. Guru Charan Patro of CAC, Sri. Abani Gaya of MASM, Sri. Sudarshan Chhotaray, Senior Journalist, Sri. Kishore Chandra Patra of MASM, Sri. Saroj Ranjan Patnaik, Journalist participated and shared their views on MPs performance and LAD fund utilisation, Sri Bibhu Prasad Sahu of Youth for Social Development presented the report and coordinated the release event.