From shareholding to consultancy, Rajya Sabha members earn in crores: ADR
The upper house or the Rajya Sabha (RS) members of Parliament are often called 'unelected'. Many a time allegations are levelled against political parties that such seats are "sold". Now the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a National Election Watchdog has reviewed financial interests of 213 sitting Rajya Sabha members to sense why they are so sought after.
The ADR report has found 89 (41.8 per cent) MPs have declared that they have a financial interest that falls under either of these categories: Remunerative directorship, Regular remunerated activity, Shareholding of controlling nature, Paid consultancy or Professional engagement. 
But the report has found 124 (58.2 per cent) MPs have not provided any detail about financial interest under any of these five categories.
Twenty four MPs (11.3 per cent) have declared that they have some financial interest in the form of Remunerative Directorship of a company. 
The highest amount received for Remunerative Directorship has been declared by D. Kupendra Reddy (JD(S) Karnataka) with a value of Rs 40.68 crore per annum followed by BJP's Rajeev Chandrasekhar with a value of Rs 7.03 crore and Abdul Wahab (IUML Kerala) with Rs 3.34 crore.
Thirty MPs (14.1 per cent have declared that they have a financial interest in the form of Regular Remunerated Activity. The highest amount received from regular remunerated activity has been declared by BJP's Mahesh Poddar (Jharkhand) at Rs 3.18 crore per annum, followed by Mary Kom who is BJP Nominated, with Rs 2.50 crore per annum and Swapan Dasgupta (Nominated) with Rs 66.60 lakh as annual income from regular remunerated activity.
Meanwhile, 44 (20.7 per cent) MPs have declared that they have financial interest in the form of shareholding of controlling nature. The highest amount of shareholdings of a controlling nature in companies have been declared by BJP's Ravindra Kishore Sinha from Bihar, with a value of Rs 747 crore followed by Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi with a value of Rs 386 crore and Independent MP Kakde Sanjay Dattatraya with a value of Rs 262 crore.
But only a mere 2 MPs which constitutes 0.9 per cent have declared that they have financial interest in the form of Paid consultancy. The highest value of benefits derived for all paid consultancy has been declared by Senior Advocate K. T. S. Tulsi with Rs 27.50 lakhs, followed by Vikas Haribhau Mahatme with 5.60 lakhs. While Tulsi is a nominated MP, Mahatme is from BJP.
As much as 40 (18.8 per cent) Rajya Sabha members have declared that they have financial interest in the form of professional engagement. The top 3 in this category are all lawyers. The highest amount received has been declared by Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi with total fees received from professional engagements at Rs 177 crore, followed by P. Chidambaram and Tulsi.
Interestingly, there's as much as 104 MPs in the upper house with total assets worth more than Rs 1 crore, yet they have no financial interests, claims their declarations.
The top four are T. Subbarami Reddy of Congress with Rs 422.44 crore of total assets followed by TDP's C.M. Ramesh with 258.20 crore. Then comes former Finance Minister late Arun Jaitley with Rs 111.42 crore and Ambika Soni with Rs 105.82 crore of total assets.
But under each category, a significant MPs haven't even declared their assets. What's even more shocking is that, there are 17 members of Rajya Sabha who have not at all submitted the declaration of their pecuniary interest, under any category, whatsoever. 
The names include Misha Bharti of RJD, Dola Sen of Trinamool Congress, Mahendra Prasad of JDU, Rajmani Patel of Congress and Rakesh Sinha of the BJP among others. What's troubling is that leaders from cutting across party lines have defied.
Speaking to IANS, Maj. Gen. Anil Verma (Retd), who heads the ADR, expressed concern at this culture of hiding truth. 
"Of course it is a matter of concern as far as transparency goes. We are trying to convince the current Speaker why it is so important for him to intervene. We urged the previous Speaker as well but to no avail", said Gen Verma.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Vaidya Dattatraya Vasudeo

    5 months ago

    PM has suggested that those who are financially well and do not need gas subsidy should give it up. Great and highly ethical idea. Should it be extended, automatically, to every elected person and every government employee, for every kind of subsidy, including that of cheap canteen fares, free travel, free phones and many many more which experts and knowledgeable person can make a list of? Should they not give up on the salaries too, including the PM. But it is very rare that this community recognizes ethics. Why not make a law to withdraw all and every kind of subsidy to any person who earns an income of Rs.10,00,000/- and above.


    B. Yerram Raju

    In Reply to Vaidya Dattatraya Vasudeo 5 months ago

    I fully agree. Parliament should pass a Law that no Parliamentarian, no Bank official, no permanent official and employee shall be eligible for any type of subsidy or incentive from the Government. There shall be no privilege of travel by Business Class at Government expense.


    5 months ago

    Do they need salary at least those who are earning crores outside and have networth in hundreds of crores, more so they came to serve the people and not to make money from the people.


    5 months ago

    Rakesh Sinha will fill once he is free from endless TV talk shows

    Goldman Sachs sacks India VP Ashwini Jhunjunwala for Rs38 crore fraud

    Financial services firm Goldman Sachs sacked India vice-president Ashwini Jhunjunwala after his arrest for allegedly transferring Rs38 crore ($5.4 million) from the company's account to his personal accounts online to pay off debts incurred in a poker game.

    "The employee (Jhunjunwala) has been immediately dismissed. We are also engaged with the authorities (police) to activate criminal proceedings," the company told IANS in an e-mail.

    The police arrested Jhunjunwala under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by the company's Indian subsidiary for reportedly siphoning off funds fraudulently.

    "Jhunjunwala has been sent to 14-day judicial custody by a local court for investigation into the cheating case," Marathahalli Circle Inspector S.P. Girish told IANS.

    According to preliminary investigation, Jhunjunwala, who was looking after the company's forex and equity settlement claims, transferred the money online from his colleagues' computers over the months to avoid detection.

    "The vice-president's modus operandi in stealing the company's money was to access the finance manager's account when the latter was away from the workstation and transfer the amounts online to his accounts in India and overseas. He was caught recently (on September 4) doing such transactions from another colleague's computer," Bengaluru East Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) M.N. Anucheth told IANS.

    The accused was caught on the basis of video footage from the closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in the company's office, which showed the executive using others workstations.

    "The transactions timings tallied with that of the videos, which recorded and showed the executive using computers of his associates for committing the fraud," Girish said.

    In a complaint to the police, the company's legal counsel accused Jhunjhunwala of trying to make up for the losses he incurred in the online gambling. One of the accounts in which the money was transferred was traced to be a shell company (Synergy Wisdom Ltd) in Hong Kong in which he had invested.

    "When confronted with video clip of the crime, the accused tried to wriggle out by saying he was only evaluating his colleagues performance on their computers," the DCP said.

    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  • User


    Arumugaraja A

    5 months ago

    What\'s the use of fancy degrees and experience in working with top financial firm, if you don\'t know the basic fact that all online transactions leave a trail.

    Ramesh Poapt

    5 months ago

    GS is not holy cow!

    IRMA Cannot Take New Admission for 1 Year Due to Unqualified Director?
    Gujarat-based Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) was founded with the belief, borne out by Dr Verghese Kurien’s work in the dairy co-operatives, that the key to effective rural development is professional management.
    However, as with almost every institution supported or funded by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), IRMA too has fallen short of these expectations.
    For example, IRMA's director Prof Hitesh V Bhatt does not have the necessary qualifications for the job and, yet, is holding the post since December 2017, with support from the IRMA board headed by NDDB chairman Dilip Rath. With Prof Bhatt remaining director for over 18 months without adequate qualifications, IRMA is technically barred from admitting new students for one year, as per the rules and regulations of the institution. 
    Documents procured under Right to Information (RTI) Act reveal that the issue of Prof Bhatt’s qualifications was referred to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The AICTE, in turn, referred it to the Research, Institutional & Faculty Development (RFID) Bureau. 
    The Standing Complaints Scrutiny Committee (SCSC) at the RFID Bureau discussed the matter at its meeting between 22nd and 24 May 2019. The Committee says, " may be seen from the faculty details of Prof Bhat that he has done B Tech from IIT, Delhi, and M Sc from Atlanta, US. But has not acquired a Ph D, which is mandatory qualification for the post of principal/director. In view of the same and also looking at the entire eligibility criteria, it may be clear that Prof Bhat does not fulfil the same as per AICTE norms."
    However, the issue is not limited to the lack of qualifications of Prof Bhat to hold the post. As per the All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approvals for Technical institutions) Regulations, 2011, the institution, which does not fulfil requirement of qualified principal or director cannot admit new students.

    Rule 14.3 of the Regulations says, "The Institution, which does not have qualified principal/ director as prescribed in position, for a period, more than 18 months shall be liable to be placed under no admission status."
    IRMA was founded in 1979 at the initiative of NDDB and the support of government of India, government of Gujarat and Swiss Development Co-operation. Talking about IRMA in his biography, "I Too Had a Dream", Dr Kurien had said, “My reasoning was even if only a handful of students each year from such an institute (IRMA) could grow, evolve, stride out into the world and, perhaps build some more Amuls, what a boon it would be for our rural people and for the nation.”
    In August 2017, IRMA had published an advertisement for the post of director in the Economic and Political Weekly. As per the advertisement, the candidate for the post of director was required to have a minimum qualification of Ph D or its equivalent with 15 years’ experience of teaching after the doctorate.
    Quoting from a release by IRMA, a report from DNA, says, Prof Bhatt, who is with the Institute since 1995 was appointed as its new director from 1 December 2017. “The appointment comes a few months after RC Natarajan, the institute's director at the time, faced charges of sexual harassment by an employee,” the report says. 
    According to a report by The Quint, one Prof Ram Manohar Vikas, who was teaching faculty at IRMA till June 2018, had raised the issue of lack of qualification of Prof Bhatt. Prof Vikas, who has been terminated by IRMA, had filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court against his termination and also approached the AICTE on appointment of Prof Bhatt as director of IRMA. 
    Prof Bhatt told the website that the decision of his appointment was taken by the IRMA board. “In 2012, before my predecessor Mrs Jeemol Unni became the director, the board had written to me asking me to apply for the post as there was a positive response from the Alumni. But I wrote back saying that I am not an academician and turned down the offer; soon Mrs Unni took up the post. Five years later history repeated itself and the board again approached me and said, ‘We would like to have you as our Director since we are not able to find a suitable candidate’. I told them that I am not a Ph D. Yet, they had faith in me and appointed me as the director,” Prof Bhatt told The Quint.
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