What is wrong? What should be done?

BJP’s solution to our country’s problems

I have always maintained that none of the political parties in India know what is wrong with our country and how to fix it. BJP has made the following 7 main promises (in other words, their to-dos after being elected) which have also been co-opted by the NDA:

1. Provide at least 35 kgs of rice or wheat to all BPL families at Rs. 2 kg.
2. Waiver of all farm loans, and ensuring new loans at 4% rate of interest.
3. Tax exemption for all those earning up to Rs. 3 lakhs per annum.
4. Bring back black money stashed abroad.
5. Extending the Ladli Lakshmi scheme for girl students of all states.
6. Tax exemption for armed forces personnel ans ensuring the implementation of one-rank-one-pension scheme, and
7. Providing loans to students at 4% rate of interest.

Before I analyze the merits of each promise, let me broadly suggest the underlying principles behind majority of these promises which are as follows:

(a) Lets freely spend government’s money to indirectly buy votes. Except for point 4 above, all the schemes are just distribution of money of tax payers. I hope the people of this country realize that distributing other people’s money is easy. How difficult it is to distribute other people’s money freely? I would have been impressed if they would have first listed the ways they will earn more money for the government by improving the economy of the country and then how they planned to distribute/use the money.

(b) None of the above promises addresses the issue of corruption except point 4 or the problem of law and order in the country.

(c) None of the issue talks about how the economy will be strengthened. BJP should understand that they will only be able to distribute the money and waive off loans if the economy is strong enough to support such moves.

Lets evaluate what each of these promises would do for the citizen of this country and would it make the citizen the “king.”

First, the public distribution system is so corrupt that the promised rice or wheat will not reach the people it is supposed to reach. This action will not not reduce corruption but rather increase it. Everybody including Rajiv Gandhi has stated that only 10-20% of money allocated to such scheme reaches the intended recipients. The objective is good but BJP should have also addressed the issue of improving the Public Distribution System.

Second, Congress has already waived off farm loans and now BJP wants to do it. This maybe a short-term solution to assist the farmers but the BJP should have also addressed the issue on a long term basis. The root cause of the problem has to be addressed also. The problem that farmers face is because of the unavailability of water and electricity. Problems also arise because of small land holdings which are uneconomical and alternative employment is not availability. I believe that the root cause of the problem is lack of infrastructure in the rural areas for farming as well as industrial development. But nobody wants to bell the cat.

Third, the idea of giving tax exemption for all those earning up to Rs. 3 lakhs per annum is good as it will assist very important issues:
* It will provide the much needed relief to the citizens of this country by putting more money in their hands.
* More disposable income means that more goods will be bought which will churn the economy as well as increase the employment levels.

Fourth, the idea of bringing back black money stashed abroad is good but the promise sounds hollow if we do not address the issue of black money being generated every hour and every day in this country. By the time BJP tries to bring back the money stashed abroad, more black money is being generated and sent abroad through hawala transactions. It has been estimated that Rs. 50,000 crores may have been spent on the elections this time. I can assure you that this is probably a lot more than the combined wealth declared by all the candidates who contested the elections. Since it can be safely assumed that the wealth of the candidates who contested the elections will not become zero because they spent the money in the elections, it clearly suggests that every major political party and their candidates spent huge amount of black money in the elections. Now BJP has turned a blind eye to all this because it is also a party to it.

Why don’t political parties even talk of curbing the generation of black money? The reason is very obvious. They are the major beneficiary of the parallel economy. Industrialists like Rahul Bajaj have come out in the open and have stated that a lot of the businessmen and industrialist have been approached for contributions for fighting the elections.

Fifth, other promises like extending the Ladli Lakshmi scheme for girl students of all states and providing loans to students at 4% rate of interest are of no major significance. These are feel good voting getting schemes or words. I am not sure that these should be included in the manifesto of a political party let alone be touted as a major action of a political party.

Lastly, tax exemption for armed forces personnel is not a good idea. Pay them higher if you want to but let everybody be taxed. Everybody has the responsibility to share the financial burden. Again this is a vote getting scheme.

Law and order is nowhere an important issue for BJP. Just yesterday, it was reported that the accused in the Sikand murder case is also being let off because proper evidence was not provided by CBI. Also, the case took 26 years to reach a conclusion which makes it a mockery of the law and order situation in this country. Inspite of the Supreme Court and high court order illegal construction and illegal commercial activity is still going on in Delhi. And nobody thinks this is important.

Avinash Narula

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Comments (1)

R.Alamsha KarnanMay 22nd, 2009 at 12:31 am

Pls read my comment in your article:
http://www.vote2change.org/blog/2009/05/18/very-few-are-talking-about-governance-corruption-and-law-order/comment-page-1/#comment-294

Overpopulation is the single most biggest threat for our country, silently brewing. If it continues like this, in less than 10 years there will be a civil war between the haves and have-nots. People will start snatching bread from each other’s mouth.

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