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Articles

Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.

Articles

Financial Profligacy

 

Dt:23/4/21

Financial Profligacy

 

- Dr T H Chowdary*

 

Governments of some States  ruled by regional parties are  indulging in fantabulous welfare  pay outs, not because they have the necessary revenues  but by repeatedly borrowing  directly from banks upto the limits set by law and  very irresponsibly making their  state-owned numerous corporations also borrowing from banks and  financial markets ; the states  giving them sovereign  guarantees . The following are a few examples of  States reckless borrowing  and using that money  for popular  ( electoral) support.

 

2. One State has borrowed about Rs. 80,000 crs  in the first two years of its  second  term while  carrying  forward the already accumulated debt of about Rs. 80,000 cr. In the third year of its rule  it would borrow Rs. 47,000 cr! What is amazing is that the debt is  to be repaid after  30 years! Neither present  Chief Minister  nor his  son would be  in power after 30 years ! Further while the   Pay Revision Commission (PRC) of the State recommended  7.5 % rise in salaries of government servants, the Chief Minister decided to give a 30% rise ! The Municipality in the capital city is not able  to pay salaries intime ; it is borrowing  to pay! Yet the ruling party abolished property tax from payers of Rs. 10,000 and less per year! Also  to fulfil its  promise of free supply of  20,000 liters of water per month per house hold, free supply of electricity to barbers (hair  dressing saloons) and washermen ( washeries, washing machines) are the  latest give- aways.  These are  in addition to subsidise/ free supply of sheep  to shepherds and buffalo/cows to cattle men.

 

 

3. In another State ruled by a  regional party, as per the advertisement of 23 April 2021  in the Indian Express, under 21 schemes all named  after the  ruling  Chief Minister or his late father , 4,65,58,594 women were gifted Rs. 82,368.31 cr since May 2019 till April 2021.  Almost all this amount is borrowed money! 

 

4.  A regional party in opposition to the present ruling party in Tamilnadu  has included over  500 items of gifts ( in the name of welfare of the poor and women and minorities that is, Muslims)!  The BJP, slandered as  a rightist Hindutva promoting  and pro-rich party is having to compete with regional parties to go  some way to distribute  charity. Sonia-family- led Congress  oorm Indira times has been  implementing , while in power at the  Center  and  States,  garibhi hatao , minority uplift and Muslim First ( not SC or ST) programs . To gain power in States it has lost, it is openly allying itself with Muslim and  communist parties and some  regional ones. 

5.  In Telangana there is clamour that government  should  fill up a few lakh allegedly vacant  government jobs.  This demand is atrocious, to say the least. Government servants don’t create  wealth ; they consume it.  Almost  every  citizen having had to visit a government office,  to submit an appeal or  seek justice or redressal of a grievance will narrate  how heartless, vexatious ,  graft demanding and  delaying or many government  officials (not servants but masters) . It is common experience of  citizens   visiting government offices to have been treated unhelpfully. Inoften do we come across  citizen- friendly, problem-solving officials. We need better governance; not more  government officials ; ever demanding   promotions and pay rises and privileged welfare. A non-gazzetted government  official costs not less than  Rs. 300,000 per year. At Rs. 3000 per month   as unemployment doll ,  in Rs. 3 lakhs   8 unemployed  persons could be serviced !  Employment  for productive work;  for wealth  creation; government’s function should be for  facilitating wealth  creation . Universal education and health care; preserving law & order;  justice and defence of India are  government’s  essential and legitimate duties. Everything else must be  facilitative, not executive.

 

6. It is worth while to recall  a few wise   dictums :

 

Saint Thruvalluvar long ago observed  :

 

“Government in business means the ruination of people and if the Governments are rich ( by borrowed  money or excessive taxation), the people will be poor”.

 

“They are good rulers who observe ethics, commit no crime and walk the path of  honour and courage”.

 

The great intellectual  and patriot   and legal luminary Nani Palkhivala observed :

·         Socialism as practised in India has been a fraud.  Our brand of socialism did not result in transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor but only from the honest rich to the dishonest rich.

·         The sleeping sickness of socialism is now universally acknowledged – but not officially in India…..

·         The public sector enterprises are the black holes, the money guzzlers and they have been extracting an exorbitant price for India’s doctrinaire socialism.

·         History will record that the greatest mistake of the Indian republic in the first 50 years ( and there after)  of its existence was to make less investment in human resources- education,  family planning, nutrition and public health- than in brick and motor dams and factories.

·         Over taxation corrupted the national character overtly.  That nation survived only because the tax system continued to breathe through loopholes and the economy used to breathe through window of tax evasion.

·         Government should no longer be power above the people,  to be  petitioned and propitiated for favours.

·         Influential politicians who prefer to let socialism remain the opium of the people and of whom it can  be truly said that if ignorance is bliss, they should be the happiest men alive.

·         We shut our eyes to the fact that socialism is to social justice, what ritual is to religion and dogma is to truth  (928 words)

 

END