Should We #GiveItUp ?

So finally #GiveItUp campaign reached my work inbox courtesy to the recent appeal from the honorable prime minister to different organizations/ employers. If you have not received any email/ SMS or call yet on this - this is about voluntarily giving up your LPG subsidy and thereby contributing in nation building!

Now question is - Should we give up this subsidy in this context? If we do, it can debit Rs. 40,000 crores to our government balance sheet. And, off-course this is 'voluntary' initiative - not sure if we can term this as 'voluntary' any more: specially when communications are coming from your HR department! But, before we take a call - we better get the following questions addressed:

Why LPG subsidy in first hand, why not other unnecessary subsidy?
Among many aspects where Indian government grants subsidy, there are quite a few - either dedicated to the elite groups of society or elite groups are misusing the given subsidy. Why cooking gas subsidy to start with? Why not cutting down other unnecessary subsidies first?

In government subsidized parliament canteen, legislators get veg thali for Rs. 12.50, non-veg thali for Rs. 22, rajma rice for Rs. 7, kheer for Rs. 5.50 and so on. How much can be saved here? And, yes - these foods are very high quality AND this rate is not only for parliamentarian - but also, for anybody who knows a parliamentarian (including distant relatives). You will find the similar story when it comes to other perks including free rail & air travels!

How are you ensuring existing funds are fully utilized?
It's very common across different sectors that departments always struggle to spend even the allocated funds. Many times allocated budget for 'development' purposes returns underutilized. When respective responsible groups are not being able to plan for existing funds, what would we do with more? How do we ensure our existing funds are well spent, for development purposes? Show the plan first!

How about recovering black money and corruption eaten money?
Need more funds! How about recovering black money & unpaid taxes from big fishes? How about bringing in corruption stripped funds? No CA needed, if all the above money can be put into social development - that would mark another 'renaissance'! Can we execute this to start with?

How do I know my money is well spent?
Though we are a developing nation, our country is resourceful and our economy is fairly stable & doing pretty good at global level. I believe - we have enough money & resources to perform all necessary developments to ensure better social life and living. Concern here is: how can we ensure all money are being deployed in development projects? How to ensure politicians and officials at different levels are not vanishing that money without any purposeful contribution? More resources are always good and welcome - but surely not to make those rich folks richer. Where is the attention to fix this?

What's the ROI, What's the business case?
With each passing year, the financially middle class section is burdened with increased inflation and tax burden (imagine of paying 20% - 25% additional to what you consume even in a very small restaurant). Interestingly, this is the very section pays up imposed taxes every year diligently. What we get in return is in nutshell: potholes on the road, hassleful experience at government offices, compromising with political goons, disturbing civics facility, poorest healthcare and so on.

Its the same story for other classes in the society - specially for the low & zero income groups. Farmers are most neglected occupational community and cultivation is the most looked down occupation - both socially and financially. Bank accounts definitely give them a hope, but without any positive balance in that account hardly helps!

I am okay to give up around Rs.3000 per year subsidy towards development work (but small amount does not necessarily mean that it's not important). But, show me how the benefit will reach to us! No investor invests without a proper business case and ROI plan. Let us not make ourselves fool using national sentiments here! Let our government and political representatives cover that distance before they get the right to ask #GiveItUp!


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