Non-observance of financial discipline adversely affects the government funds. Freebies is being promoted in the country through populist announcements and steps on the lines of ‘Ghar Phoonk Tamasha Dekh’.
Its burden falls on the honest taxpayers, who are already burdened with rising inflation.
Sometimes electricity rates are increased to meet the expenses and sometimes people’s back is broken by increasing some other tax.
It has been seen that every election brings with it the ‘gift’ of inflation because at such times voters are wooed by schemes of freebies.
Regarding this issue, Comptroller and Auditor General Girishchandra Murmu emphasized the difference between proper subsidy and freebies and advised the states to meet their capital expenditure from their own revenue sources.
They should take proper steps to maintain proper and transparent accounting of their subsidy. Why is this instruction of the CAG limited to the states only?
This advice should also be given to the central government. How many of the schemes of the Central Government come under the purview of subsidy and how many are going to promote freebies, it should also be reviewed.
It is right to give subsidy to the poor and deprived section of the society but it is wrong to give many things free of cost under vote bank politics.
The question is, when we claim to be the 5th largest economy in the world, then why are 80 crore people poor in the country?
They should be empowered so that they can fill their stomach with their hard work and become self-reliant. By not doing so, they are being given free food grains.
Is this free grain going completely in the right hands or are people getting it who are not entitled to it?
Center should consider this. It is true that the series of gifts that increase freebies started from the states of South India.
Both the big parties of Tamil Nadu, DMK and AIADMK compete to make such announcements on the occasion of elections.
This year there are elections for 6 states and next year for the Lok Sabha.
This instruction of the CAG assumes special significance in the midst of ongoing controversies over announcements of free gifts by political parties.
Subsidy is necessary where the price of a commodity or service is going beyond the purchasing power of the general public.
It is appropriate to give the benefit of subsidy to farmers while selling seeds or fertilizers.
Housewives can get some relief from LPG subsidy, but electricity bill waiver creates such a mindset that farmers don’t pay bills at all.
They assume that like every year again the government will announce bill waiver.