Only 6 MPs attend Lok Sabha debate on poverty! MPs absent themselves often!

Only six members were present, to start with, in the Lok Sabha, which was to discuss the issue of eradication of hunger in the country. The attendance was less than one per cent. The current strength of the House is 540.

Jairam Ramesh (Congress) rushed to the House after hearing the quoram bell. Mr.Jairam Ramesh is a Rajya Sabha member. Business in the House collapsed due to the lack of quorum and it was prematurely adjourned. The adjournment came after the issue was raised by Dr.Chinta Mohan when there were less than 10 members in the House to discuss the issue of eradication of hunger.

The resolution was moved by Mr.Naveen Jindal, who seemed perturbed that there were not enough members to discuss this important matter. Dr.Mohan, who was sitting along with him, urged the Chair to defer the discussion as the House lacked quorum. The quoram to initiate or continue a session is 55 in the Lok Sabha (10 per cent of the strength). But the House can continue until the issue of quorum is raised by a member.
BJP and Left party MPs were upset and heard saying that ruling party MPs have left for the Uttar Pradesh elections and that they should not raise the quorum issues themselves.
Any member in the House can raise the issue of quorum at any stage, Mr.Giridhar Gamang (Congress), who was in the Chair, said. A visibly unhappy Left MP said that the convention was not to raise the quorum issue during private members’s business.

Mr. Gamang repeatedly rang the bell so that MPs moving in the lobby could come to the House. Ironically, the House was adjourned in the wake of parliamentary affairs minister P.R.Das Munshi’s assurance that the government has enough business to transact in Parliament till May 15.
Lok Sabha members have to late remained absent during Question House despite the fact that their questions were listed for oral answers.
In India is there a make-believe politics of creating some false alarms by politicians?
The governments, the international agencies like World Bank and IMF want to remain in their jobs and so they also create these myths.
Yes, the poor, the poverty rate in Orissa and Bihar is very real. Rural Orissa has 43 per cent of poor and rural Bihar 41 per cent. But this is not to be believed as it seems. Now the talk of either it has to be about rich becoming richer or the poor becoming the poorer has not many takers. The ground realities say a different story.

In fact, the cliche is no more valid. It is now the poor also is becoming rich! Yes, the rich are becoming rich and that is for various reasons. Yes, economic reforms have opened up many opportunities, globalisation and also the liberalisation of the markets. So, there is now a visible change in the country. In the countryside too!
Every conceivable modern consumer items are now most sought after by both the rural and urban households. Telephone calls, private tuition, readymade garments, cars, motor cycles, radios, TV sets, refrigerators are now the fastest growing consumer expenditures, more so in the rural households.
Rural India undergoing lifestyle makeover
NSSO survey finds sharp rise in rural household spending
According to the 61st National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report (July 2004 – June 2005) the most spectacular increase in that year over 1999-2000 was the expenditure on telephone calls per person, which has soared six times (515 per cent in rural India and to 3.3 times (230 per cent) in urban India. The proportion of rural households incurring expenditure on telephones has jumped from 5 per cent to 32 per cent, while there has been an improvement from 25 per cent to 63 per cent in the urban areas.

Expenditure on tuition and other educational fees has seen the next highest rise at near three times (188.3 per cent) over its 1999-2000 level and in urban areas reached two-and-half times its earlier level. Rural petrol expenditure has doubled (100.4 per cent), while taxi and autorickshaw expenditure has more than doubled (119.2 per cent) in rural areas and risen by around 78 per cent in urban areas during this period.

The dependence on private tutors and coaching centres has also seen a dramatic rise. While in the rural areas, per capital expenditure in 2004-05 over 1999-2000 has gone up 73 per cent, the urban areas have seen 82 per cent rise under this expenditure head.
Reflecting the boom in readymade clothing sales, the report finds that tailoring expenses per person have seen a dramatic fall in both rural as well as urban India. The fall in rural areas has been around 26 per cent and 33 per cent in urban areas; the number of households per 1,000 incurring tailoring costs during a 30 day period in both areas shrunk by about one third since 1999-2000.

The number of households owning cars, motorcycles and television sets has been increasing significantly in recent years. Giving an 11 year data span, the report shows that the number of rural households possessing cars or jeeps has grown four times between 1993-94 and 2004-05. The number of people owning motorcycles or scooters recorded a three-fold jump during the 11 year period.
The number of households owning TV sets has increased from 40.5 per cent to 66.1 per cent, registering a growth of 26 per centage points during the 11 year period. While in rural areas, the number has increased by over 19 per centage points from 7 per cent in 1993-94 to 25.6 per cent in 2004-05.
`India to become world’s fifth largest consumer market by 2025’
A study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) says that if India’s high economic growth rate holds steady, Indian incomes will almost triple over the next two decades and India will climb from its position as the 12th largest consumer market today to become the world’s fifth largest consumer market by 2025.

MGI, McKinsey’s economics research arm, says that more than 291 million people will move from poverty to a more sustainable life and India’s middle class will swell by over ten times from its current size of 50 million to 583 million people by 2025. By this time, over 23 million Indians, will number among the country’s wealthiest citizens, says the report.
Booting productivity, reducing poverty and providing people with more sustainable lifestyles,” says Mr.Adil Zainulbhai, Managing Director, India, McKinsey & Company.

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