No reality check on irrational dole of freebies

No reality check on irrational dole of freebies
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Highlights

From KCR to Mamata, Arvind Kejriwal to Sharad Pawar to Uddhav Thackeray, no one has so far spelled out what would be the alternative policy.

"There is need for alternative economic policy. The Centre has failed in all aspects. It has no policy for the welfare of the people. It never thought of projects like Kaleshwaram or schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Dalit Bandhu or Aasara pensions. No BJP states have such great plans. No BJP state is giving 24x7 free power for farmers. BJP government is Golmaal government and anti-farmer government." This is how the TRS has been criticising the Centre. It claims it will come up with alternative economic policy on the lines of 'Golden Telangana.'

From KCR to Mamata, Arvind Kejriwal to Sharad Pawar to Uddhav Thackeray, no one has so far spelled out what would be the alternative policy. All of them want to show a picture of a carrot, not even a real carrot and win the confidence of the people. All the states ruled by regional parties want to come to power by announcing limitless freebies. But no party or government makes any assessment on the ground realities.

No one does any serious exercise on the potential of revenue generation, the cost involved in implementing the freebies and its sustainability in the long run. All leaders claim to be an economic wizard but do not have a solution to reduce the debt of the states ruled by them. Borrow from financial institutions and give freebies is the single point agenda and they feel that it will rain votes in the elections. For some time that may happen, but it cannot be the mantra every time.

This situation can be, perhaps, altered if there is one nation one policy for freebies. Yes, freebies are necessary for certain sections of the people, but not everyone. We have seen how the Dalit Bandhu scheme has been made applicable to all and how the relatives of public representatives who do not need such assistance have been getting the benefit.

Now, a situation has come where the Telangana government has no money for implementation of these schemes and is finding it difficult to borrow from financial institutions as the Centre has put brakes. It is again a debatable issue whether the Centre is justified in not permitting the state to raise loans. The reason being, it has allowed debt-ridden Andhra Pradesh to go in for fresh borrowings while Telangana which certainly is in a better financial position than the neighbouring AP has been stopped from borrowing.

This situation will continue which ever government comes at Centre during the next elections. It is high time all state governments and the Centre sit together, review the situation, evaluate their revenue-earning capacities honestly, existing loan burden, repayment of debts etc., and decide on the percentage of the total revenue which each state can allocate for freebies. Only then may the governance become more practical. It is very difficult to adopt this policy by the political parties as they do not have that kind of broad mindedness or practical approach. Every party thinks only they have all the wisdom and all others are good for nothing. All parties look upon the beneficiaries as their vote bank and do not bother about their uplift. Big talk, small action has become the order of the day. God save the country!

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