Budget, Taxation & Poor
You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” –Chinese proverb
Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again tomorrow. Giving a fish when he is hungry, you are making him dependent. If you teach him to catch a fish, it will be for his betterment. He will be richer all his life, not for himself or his family but also for the country.
If you agree, let us discuss:
- Interim Budget-2019 has increased the allocation for the agriculture sector from Rs 57,600 Cr to Rs. 1, 40, 763 crore (increase of 150%).
It has offered the small and marginal farmer with holding of less than 2 hectares, a grant of Rs 6,000 per year. This Rs. 6000/- p.a. translates in to Rs. 17 per day. I am not concerned with Rs. 6,000/- p.a. But, yes I am concerned with the shape it will take in days to come. To attract votes, successive Government will increase Rs. 6,000/- to higher, higher and higher figure and will make the working citizens dependent on them
This is not the beginning of any bad initiatives. It has been the feature since independence whereby the poor has to be dependent on the whims and mercies of the Government.
- Not too long, presenting the Union Budget 2008-09 in the Lok Sabha then finance minister Mr. P Chidambaram announced a scheme of debt waiver and debt relief for farmers, entitling them to get fresh loans from the banks which cost treasury a whopping Rs. 60,000 Cr. It was a relief to the indebted farming community by waiving loans of small and marginal farmers.Now, when Next?
Anyone can understand that, in the long term, loan waiver or subsidy is detrimental to the farmer & citizens as it makes them dependent and makes them unproductive. If this is not correct, what is the result of Rs. 60,000/- Cr loan waiver? Present subsidy of Rs. 6,000/-?
- Another painful view for the country is a scheme like MNREGA which offers at least 100 days of employment each year to each rural household across the country. No matter the clear objective of the scheme, is it helping in productive assets creation or nation building? Is it alleviating poverty?India, youngest country of the world with average age group of 30 years is making its human resources unproductive by offering them subsidy, loan waiver, scheme like MNREGA. Is it perfect utilization of human resources? Is it a strike over the root cause?
Are we not making them dependent? Why don’t we understand that farm loan waiver or giving subsidy is a temporary solution and is not striking at the root cause. Poverty, Farmer distress & subsidy to the poor has been a term often talked and discussed, even after 70 years of our independence. Farmer & Citizens needs a respectable living for them and their family and not subsidy to let them go through the feeling of dependence on the mercy of Government.
Budget is a Noble & Democratic process through which money is transferred from those who work to those who Vote. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Let me make it clear. I am not against the pro poor budget. But, it should be such that they become more productive and less dependent. They should strive for growth and not for mercy.
- Should we legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity?
- Will it be good by one person to receive without working & another person must work without receiving?
- Can wealth be multiplied by dividing it?
- When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, is it not the beginning of *unproductive generations in the country*?
Any policy should be aimed towards productive asset creation for the Nation & should strengthen the social fabric of the country. It should be aimed at motivating the citizens to work and not to remain unproductive.
Offering subsidy & loan waiver is as good as offering a bribe, rather an election bribe. It is not aimed as measure of the welfare of farmers, poor and the country.