Why the Delhi Government freebies are justified!
by ittisikhushi | Updated January 15, 2020
Do you remember the times when you paid 2 rupees per minute for a call? All that high pricing seemed justified till the tariffs dropped to affordable levels. The entire India jumped into the internet bandwagon. Nobody could live without internet. And the nation wondered why did we pay so much for this basic necessity all these years?
If internet could be cheap which is essentially in hands of private players, why the actual basic necessities –healthcare, water, electricity and public transport have to be so costly? –services that are practically funded by us through taxes!
Why do we even pay taxes? We pay taxes so that the government can provide us with services that can only be funded through government –public transport, infrastructure, government employee salaries etc.. So when we are paying taxes we are already funding the government to provide us these basic services. So once we have already paid the government heavily through various taxes how justified it is to pay higher sums to use the same services we have paid for?
Of course there are operational costs to any government service. But isn’t it a duty of the government to keep a check on the cost per person? Isn’t it why there is a government in the first place? If the government wouldn’t make life easier for people who will?
Some more affluent people pay higher taxes. The less fortunate ones pay less. So when a government provides subsidies, what it indirectly does is, it diverts wealth toward the people who are in dire need of it. And that’s as much a part of governance as it is to build infrastructure. So when somebody tells you that Arvind Kejriwal is wasting your money by giving out freebies, just ask them what they think would be a better use of that money?
Clearly, subsidies are an integral part of governance and are much needed in a developing and diverse India. However, there are claims it might hurt economy –another claim with zero arguments.
The central government might have shelved the consumer expenditure report, but the ground reality is people are spending a lot less these days. What does it do? Sales of goods and services go down and the first victims of this slump are the local businesses who completely depend on consumer expenditure.
But why would people start spending less all of a sudden? There could be various explanations to this. But one obvious one that needs no degree to figure out is that people are not saving enough. They are losing most of their income in mere survival. How would they spend on other things? Cost of living keeps going up every year. Just compare prices of essential goods from 2010s to that of now.
In 2010 price of one litre full cream milk was Rs 33 per litre and toned milk Rs 25/litre. In 2020 1 litre of mother dairy full cream milk costs Rs 53 and 1 litre toned milk costs Rs 42.
In 2010, petrol was priced at 47/L in February. In 2020, it’s almost 76 rupees per litre. Just go ahead and find out the price difference for other essential supplies. And when you do that, also look for India’s per-capita income in 2020. While it has considerably increased from the 2010s, it’s still hovering around 11,000 Rupees mark. How good is that?
Now with that 11,000/ month mark in your mind just calculate how much a common man in Delhi is saving with literally free electricity, free water, free transport for women, free quality healthcare and soon free Wi-Fi.
And whatever number you can come up with, one thing can be said with certainty it would be a great help to a family which is making about 300-400 Rupees per day. And what happens when these people, the very soul of India, the majority starts saving enough? They would also start spending on a few extra things. Local businesses would flourish. Standard of living would improve.
What Delhi government has done with these subsidies is that it has lifted off a very big burden from the shoulders of a huge chunk of population. People who are calling it ‘Muftkhori’ have no clue how many families in India are struggling to even make ends meet.
If with a little redistribution of wealth through subsidies, you could put a smile on the faces of millions, why won’t you? And mind you, no new taxes have been added for these subsidies. The budget has doubled in five years and the government is in surplus. However, Arvind Kejriwal couldn’t buy a private jet, build a 3000 crore statue, introduce a bullet train and construct a lavish party headquarter. These must be counted as his failures.
And if you still have questions on freebies, walk into a house in JJ cluster, look into the eyes of the people living there and tell them on their face –“You don’t need these subsidies”. Good luck!