Monday, January 4, 2016

Whose Country?


On the New Year’s Day, the government of India slashed the price of aviation turbine fuel by 10 percent. This is the second reduction in the price of ATF in a month’s time.  The New Year gift to the common person was a hike in the price of cooking gas.  The price of non-subsidised LPG was hiked by Rs 49.50 per cylinder.  LPG price was hiked on 1 Dec by Rs 61.50.  Prior to that, rates were increased by Rs. 27.5 per cylinder on November 1.

The flight ticket rates have not changed though ATF rates were cut.  The benefit does not trickle down to the passengers.  The corporate sector harvests the benefits.  The trickle down effect of neoliberalism is a myth. 

When the price of petroleum shot up to $140 per barrel, Dr Manmohan Singh managed to keep the price of petrol in India at Rs 72 per litre by providing subsidies so that the common people would not be taxed too much.  Now when the international price hovers around $37 the prices of petrol and diesel in India refuse to come down except by a few paise.  Who reaps the benefits?  Where are those who hollered and wailed about the evil called subsidies?

Well, Adanis and Ambanis are the actual policy makers of the nation.

What does ATF rate cut mean for Indians?
Picture from Forbes
Prof Ashok Gulati  writes in today’s Indian Express, “The BJP manifesto had promised to raise profitability levels in agriculture to 50 per cent above costs, when these were hovering around 20-30 per cent in most crops during the UPA’s terminal years. But the reality now is that profitability has plummeted to less than 5 per cent in major crops, and is negative for others.”

The BJP has seen many electoral defeats after the landslide victory it obtained in the last Parliament elections.  Even in the PM’s own state the recent Panchayat elections let down the party gracelessly.  Arun Jaitely, who became the Finance Minister though he lost the 2014 election from Amritsar, may have to do some alterations in the party’s policies unless the whole party will be shown the door by Punjab where the Assembly elections are not far off. 

Still waiting for DEVELOPMENT
Picture from Forbes
“The rich in India have always lived a life quite oblivious to the ocean of poverty around them,” wrote Pavan K. Varma in his book Being Indian.  The present regime in Delhi seems to be doing what the rich in India have been doing.  Unless Mr Modi cuts short his foreign trips in order to find time to walk through the streets and by lanes where live 44% of India’s malnourished children and their impoverished parents, India will soon surely show him the real power of democracy.  It already has started doing that.  The writing on the wall cannot be erased by rhetoric even if the speaker is an accomplished orator.


15 comments:

  1. PM Modi is mostly making long term plan for the corporate sector. No doubt it is going to help in development, but he has completely neglected other areas. Agriculture is in pathetic condition. Farmers are either on the verge of death or are forced to find other occupations. In a long term without progress in agriculture, progress in other sectors would hamper too.

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    1. I agree about the need for long term policies and vision. But, as you have rightly implied, long term vision is meaningless when the present misery is mounting.

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  2. Heh heh! Achhe din with a pinch of salt. :D

    If it's not long term vision, the common man is unable to see it.

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    Replies
    1. Achche din for the select few. It's their India now. The common person won't live long enough to see the long term vision!

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    2. Agreed. Someone tell him that there's a difference between 'Long' and 'Infinite'! :D

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  3. the problem with Modi government's strategy is they don't have any strategy, failures are visible on every front like infrastructure, employment, agriculture, etc, Adani and Ambani are only enjoying these Achche Din.

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    Replies
    1. Modi govt put all their eggs in the corporate basket and the Adanis and Ambanis are sitting on gold mines with a contented grin.

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  4. Good Observations Tomichan.I almost stopped commenting on Modi on facebook

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  5. The worst affected one is the hardworking service class. Subsidy cut, prices hiked, taxed heavily on all fronts - it reminds me of the modern version of Ant and the grasshopper where Ants are sacrificed in the name of giving equal benefits to Grasshopper while the rich is getting richer by exploiting all of them.

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    1. But they won't be able to cheat the people for very long, not in the scale at which they are doing it now. Look at the way BJP is being rejected in the polls.

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  6. Even though the government has totally and pathetically failed to keep up any of its pre-poll promises, the PM Modi is happy with his global fame and appears not bothered about the welfare or concerns of the Indians.

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    1. He has played well to the international gallery. Soon he will sell our water and air to global firms. The world will sing alleluia to him.

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  7. Modi ironically is doing the same mistake as Vajpayee. Vajpayee had India shining, but still lost, as he did not concentrate on the middle class.. Difference though is, that Vajpayee was restricted by coalitions to do something good for the people, Modi has a majority, but has not been able to utilize. He is too buzy trying to make a name for himself

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    Replies
    1. Vajpayee was a poet; Modi is a selfie-maniac. That's the real difference.

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