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Re: Your budget analysis of social sector proposals?

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  • Praful Vora
    I noticed that many Central Govt. employees are responding with their inquiries and comments to the Economic Times (29th Feb) news item on the probable hike in
    Message 1 of 58 , Feb 29, 2008
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      I noticed that many Central Govt. employees are responding with their
      inquiries and comments to the Economic Times (29th Feb) news item on
      the probable hike in salaries due to the Sixth Pay Commissiion Report.

      I feel disgusted at the quality of the comments. All who are
      reasonably well read should be aware that the Sixth Pay Commission
      Report will be presented only on the 31st March 2008. The fact that so
      many of the responses to the news are still asking for details shows
      their poor knowledge and therefore their inferior skills. Yet they are
      among the first to ask for more! The 28th Feb. issue of The Eco Times
      shows that the probable 25% hike in salary for the FOUR million
      central employees will need an additional rupees 48,500 crore. This
      sum is more than the 'proposed allocation' for 'health, schools and
      agriculture' taken together. Something to think about.

      While these FOUR million want a life free from deficiency, will they
      daily think about the deficiency syndrome of the 300 million citizens
      of India?
      --------------------------------------------------
      In another Economic Times item (29th Feb), the DOUBLING of the spend
      on 'administration of justice' from rupees 108 to 253 Crores in the
      last budget is discussed. It seems rupees 115 Crores was set aside for
      Computerization.

      I wish to point out: Prompt delivery of justice must go hand in hand
      with in better education. While the latter has received a big boost
      under various schemes, just doubling justice spending is not enough
      since we are already woefully short of courts and their infrastucture.
      I wish in this FY09 bill, it has been tripled with specific monitoring
      for more courts, more judges at all levels and more mobile courts, of
      the justice system. Better computerization will only beget better
      statistics, not better justice, this funding should be outside the
      spend for actual justice implementation.
      -----------------------------------------------
      This new Finance Bill FY09 has done the unthinkable in populist
      policy. Writing off farmer loans, reminds me of an earlier era.
      During PM Indira Gandhi's time, one of her Ministers: Janardhan
      Poojari, would go about arranging 'loan melaas' and distribute money
      and garner votes. This was considered a great socialistic move and
      praised such that 'Indira became synonymous with India'. She outdid
      her father the great Jawaharlal who abdigated on 'compensation' for
      'land nationalizaion'. She is remembered for 'prince purses', bank
      nationalization' and 'collieries nationalization'. We citizens are
      still enjoying the fruits of these great deeds. There is no shortage
      of fools, right from Md Bin Tuglak's time, who gave away gold coins
      for copper. These 'gigantic personalities' are revered-revilled, even
      today.

      This single deed has dealt a body blow to financial prudance. Now the
      farmer will always think that a 'loan' after delinquancy becomes a
      'grant'. In some way, this has been going on every few years in some
      measure. A simpler policy would have been to reduce interest rates to
      2% retroactively, grant a five year period to pay off amount thru
      EMIs, allow fresh loans to be permitted, again at lower rates. Why
      should farmers pay higher rates than what the RBI gets for its dollar
      securities? Allow 'market' driven economy for farm products, provide
      supply chains free of state borders, better seeds and technology free
      to the marginal farmers, tax the rich farmers who earn more than Rs. 3
      lakhs per year. Force the 28 states to fall in line, by denying their
      farmers the above benifits, for not cooperating. Most important is to
      encourage thru fiscal measures, marginal farmers to combine with
      others so that their joint holdings reach 100 hectares, which will
      allow economies of scale. Such cooperatives to be like village
      panchayats, keep all politicians out of it. Dissolve all politicial
      driven farm cooperatives by denying them tax deductions and subsidies
      of any kind.

      Such simple reforms have been known to work since the last plan
      period, yet our FM Chidu has no heart for it. Giving a fish instead
      of teaching how to fish, ensures that the particular group remains
      enmeshed in poverty to be then browbeaten evey election time. I am
      certain this FM will join the other 'gigantic personalities' mentioned
      before and be revered-revilled for ages to come.
      -------------------------------------------------



      --- In karmayog@yahoogroups.com, "karmayog.org" <info@...> wrote:
      >
      > Please email us your comments on the proposals made in the Union
      Budget on 29th Feb pertaining to the Social Sector.
      >
      > All responses will be displayed in the "Join Today's Discussion"
      link in www.karmayog.org .
      >
      > Individual perspectives highlight different pros and cons.
      >
      > This enables a broader and deeper understanding than commonly
      presented views.
      >
      > Thanks
      > Vinay
      > www.karmayog.org -- understanding the future
      >
    • Praful Vora
      I can understand the optimism and hope that Mathur has in the current government in setting things right . However, his approach to the criticism that
      Message 58 of 58 , Mar 18, 2008
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        I can understand the optimism and hope that Mathur has in the current
        government in setting 'things right'. However, his approach to the
        criticism that citizens have expressed to the Finance Bill shows a
        certain sycophancy.

        1. It is the vociferous criticism in and out of Parliament that has
        caused the FM to think things thru and daily come up with statement to
        fine tune his largess. These obvious things should have been part of
        the Finance Bill and not post facto explanations. The print media has
        shown how inadequate has been the transparency of the FM in giving
        away taxpayers monies.

        2. Claims that "... whatever development is there in the country
        today is all because of the foundations laid by the thoughts of the
        people like Chidambram and Manmohan Singh over the decades ..." is
        too ridiculous to counter. I suppose this great country lacks any
        thinkers and doers other than these two. Let's not forget the
        officers in the finance ministry and the planning commission and the
        various dept. who have been trying to get things to move ahead, but
        are failing due to the politicisation of each and every proposal. Let
        us not forget the leaders of industry and the services sector who have
        been shouting hoarse about the various lacunae in the laws which are
        yet to be set right. Let us not forget the agri-business and
        cultivators who have had to sacrifice their lives before being heard
        by a government after FOUR long years ... at the fag end of their term.

        3. Suggestions and criticism do NOT stop the FM from doing his duty.
        It is supposed to aid them and point them in the right direction
        which job the politicians have seriously failed to do.

        4. Cultivators go to the money lenders not out of abundant choice
        but due the ineptitude of the various governments in providing banking
        and finance close to the farmer. Let's not forget that only about 20%
        households in the rural areas have access to banking ... sixty years
        after political freedom. If this is not criticised, I am sure another
        one hundred years will pass while we allow the 'great personalities'
        carry on as before.

        5. This is the first finance bill, that education in its various
        forms has found a substantial place. But again, with inadequate
        nourishment, don't expect rural citizens to push their children to
        schools. Adequate nourishment to pregnant mothers and the first two
        years of the child's growth will determine how many go to school and
        become 'employable'. This issue is still to be addressed. More
        schools will not help as we find we have so many 'educated
        unemployables'.

        6. The citizens of India have woken up; they are not prepared to
        wait another sixty years for basic facilities and infrastructure. If
        the politicos do not take heed and get to work, there will be a
        revolution, which we need to avoid at all costs. Naxalites and
        Maoists are the tip of the iceberg.

        7. If one watches the Lok Sabha TV channel, one can see how many of
        our expensive MPs are attending and participating. These are the
        'kaam chor' folks who need to wake up soon. Many reports have been
        written about them and their activities, creating a ruckus being the
        least of them. The Rajya Sabha TV channel shows even fewer who care
        to attend the various discussions. Its time to focus on 'citizens
        candidates' .... Politics and government are too important to be left
        to the bureaucracy and the politicos.

        Best wishes.





        --- In karmayog@yahoogroups.com, "G.C. Mathur" <gcmbinty@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > 15.03.2008
        >
        > Dear friends in Karmayog,
        > Ref to the following in KD 3443 dated 14.03.2008 and other mails in
        different KDs on the subject of the sum of Rs.60,000 crores laid off
        by the FM in this budget for the farmers to pay off the debt, my
        suggest to all those who feel concerned is to keep patience till the
        Budget is finally discussed and adopted in the Parliament. My appeal
        to the MPs in the Parliament is to spare time for discussion rather
        than creating ruckus and wasting public time and money just to oppose
        for the sake of opposing.
        >
        > After all, do not forget that whatever development is there in the
        country today is all because of the foundations laid by the thoughts
        of the people like Chidambram and Manmohan Singh over the decades. It
        was Manmohan Singh who got the gold mortgaged by the past P.M.
        released and brought back the sick to the hail and hearty economy.
        >
        > I am very confident of this group of dedicated people with
        constructive minds to carry the country forward. Let us give them a
        continued opportunity to work on with concentration rather than create
        hurdles with them by making suggestions which are not applicable in
        the larger interest.
        >
        > If farmers go to money lenders outside the official banking system
        it is because of the aggressive marketing of the private sector. How
        many times you have heard that farmers run away with the loans.
        Farmers need education on managing finances, particularly micro
        finance in order to get out of the clutches of the money lenders. In
        microfinance, they need the help of the banking sector and the public
        spirited organisations.
        >
        > Let us educate farmers to be good buyers of seeds, fertilisers, and
        animals from the market by educating them about their rights as
        consumers. Let us educate them about how to tackle MNCs who supply
        them seeds that are genetically modified by entering into sales
        agreements with safeguards against degenerating of their soil,
        productivity, unhealthy produce, environmental hazards, etc.
        >
        > I would have appreciated if you and me had raised loud voice against
        Members of Parlilament in the opposition at any given time making a
        discussion or debate difficult and making a mockery of the presiding
        officers.
        >
        > G. C. Mathur
        >
        > G. C. Mathur
        >
        > 2.1. Re: Your budget analysis of social sector proposals?
        > Posted by: "Praful Vora"
        praful.vora@... Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:28 pm
        (PDT) The last few days, a lot of
        attention has been focused by the Lok Sabha,
        > Rajya Sabha, print media and the TV talk shows on the farmer debt
        waiver
        > proposed by the Finance Bill for FY09. A consensus seems to be being
        > arrived at that, the off-budget sum of Rupees Sixty Thousand
        Crores, if and when used to to provide relief to some cultivators, is
        at best a palliativebut not a cure for the persistent agri-crisis
        facing India for many years now. The basis issues causing the crisis
        have not been addressed in the last four years of this current
        government, and at the last moment (last year before national
        elections), it seems a 'cash for forgiveness' is being offered.
        >
        > A lot of heart burn has been caused to many cultivators who feel
        left out of
        > this governmental largess. All those who were regular in
        discharging their
        > debts, those who had to manage loans from the money lenders and
        those who suffered due to volatility in cash crop prices are out in the
        > cold. Basically, it is not easy for the FM to accurately determine
        or find
        > a unique measure to target the indebted cultivator who is really in a
        > desperate condition. It is clear now that the ceiling of 2 hectare
        is at
        > best a rather poor measure, especially if farmers of Punjab and
        Maharashtra are analysed. Dry farming seems to have escaped the relief
        net.
        >
        > In this regard, I feel, all cultivators who have a total income
        below Rs.
        > 100,000 per year could be classed as poor and so entitled to relief,
        > irrespective of their land holding, quality of land, farming methods or
        > crop. The easy method to determine the annual income would be to
        encourage them to file their annual income-tax returns and provide
        them with PAN cards. As of now, so many citizens are required to
        obtain their PAN cards and file 'returns' even if they do not have to
        pay any tax. So why not our about 12.4 million cultivators?
        Eventually, the rich farmers will be separated from the needy one's so
        that targeting of all kinds of relief is
        > better managed. I wonder if any Constitutional amendments are
        needed for
        > data gathering through existing systems. The Kisan Credit Card
        would not
        > serve the purpose since it did not assess the income.
        >
        > In the current situation, the existing information with the Dist.
        Collectors
        > and Gram Panchayat could be used for better targeting of the needy
        > cultivators. Over a period of five years, the IT data will be very
        useful
        > for all kinds of social allocations too. Do our elected
        representative have
        > the gumption to change the rules without getting emotional as always?
        >
        > Jai Kisan.
        > --
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        > 2.2. Re: Your budget analysis of social sector proposals?
        > Posted by: "Priya Ranjan" priya@...
        Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:28 pm (PDT)
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        >
        > 2.3. Re: Your budget analysis of social sector proposals?
        > Posted by: "jitu11in@..." jitu11in@...
        jitu11in
        Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:32 pm (PDT)
        Hi all,
        >
        > Juts yesterday DNA had published that some survey that
        > was conducted by some organization which say that only
        > 23% farmers go to regular commercial banks for loans
        > and it is also to be noted that banks don't give loan
        > to past defaulters. So this proved that more than 75%
        > farmers have to seek loan either from moneylenders or
        > from friends and relatives. So PM's move will help
        > only ¼ of farmer population. Our CM Vilas rao Deshmukh
        > also commented that farmer loan wavier should have
        > made differentiation between farmers that work on
        > fertile land like those with irrigation facility and
        > those that work on land that r not fertile and have no
        > irrigation facilities and waving of loans should have
        > been restricted to poor farmers working on hard land.
        >
        > Rgds,
        >
        > Jitendra gupta
        >
        > Please go through further comments made by "vinobansal"
        of[awakening_india] who wrote as follows 50% people in USA were
        dependent on agriculture in 1900 AD. Today less than 2% people are
        engaged in agricultural activities. Even then, Government of USA keep
        providing many of the farmers generous farm subsidies!.
        > 98% people can support 2% people. That's hardly a problem. But how
        > can 50% people be given enough fund to raise their living standard?
        > It is impossible. No Government in any country can mobilize that kind
        > of revenue. So conmen known as congress party in India will keep
        > playing the con game of false promises and keep on doling out alms
        > every now and then. With the help from supporting Media and free
        > support from left ( In the name of "BJP roko" ) they can possibly win
        > the next election and the farmers will remain whatthey are ,until
        > they commit suicide en mass!
        > Agriculture is like any other business activity. Sales realization
        minus input cost +labour cost is profit for the farmer. Banks are
        commercial entities ( Not charitable –As some people tend to believe !
        ) and they give loan at prevailing interest rate after taking into
        consideration the security of the principle amount.Majority of farmers
        in India find today that agriculture is no more a profitable activity.
        Yet their being no alternative available to
        > them, they keep tilling the land with other's money (Barrowed ).
        The only way to improve the lot of Rural India is a) Effective check
        on population growth b) Gradual reduction of manpower in agriculture
        by effective re training & generation of employment opportunities else
        where. USA did that. Europe did that and now China is doing the same
        thing. But it requires dedication and honesty , in planning and
        execution, seemingly impossible in India, because it does not get you
        votes in short run 1
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
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