By Prashant Kaushik:
The UPA government dolls out mouth watering schemes once in every 5 years. Last time it was in 2008, when loans of farmers worth Rs. 52,000 Crore were waived off. In 2013, they promised to sell wheat at 3 Rs per kg. Both schemes appear highly socialist and poor friendly in nature. Thus, it takes courage to oppose them as any opposition will instantly give you a tag of anti-poor and anti-farmer. However, this move is not at all poor friendly.
What’s the most defining difference between a poor and a rich? Moreover, talking in terms of theories of economies, what’s the difference between Capitalist and Socialist economies? The answer is capital. The most important thing that the rich have and poor don’t is ‘Capital’. Capital means money and resources which can be used to make new earnings.
If you give an extremely poor person a sum of 10000 Rs. for once, it gives him the freedom to spend it on his daily needs whatever way he wants. Does he cease to be poor? No. His new found richness may last only a few days or a month at most. Even if you give him one lakh or more, he can’t evade his poverty beyond a limited time frame. To raise his economic level, the only way is to use 10000 Rs. or 1 Lakh Rs., as a capital. To use it in such a way that a source of livelihood is created. In other words, this means the same rhetoric demand — create better job opportunities.
But, since Independence and specially in the last decade, so much have we been disappointed with the successive corrupt governments, that somewhere we have started thinking that as the government would never be able to create jobs, why not eat the free money and consume it as soon as possible. We are poor because we don’t have capital. And here you had — over 1 Lakh crore Rupees. You threw a party, made us rich for a day, and left us poor for eternity.
There is no dearth of ideas. We only need the vision and will to implement them. Take this example: around 40% of our money is spent in buying oil from other countries. We all know about the subsidy that the government has to painfully give on LPG and kerosene. This subsidy is one of the reason of the falling Rupee and indirectly of rising inflation or food prices.
Why not use a part of that capital money you had to create Biogas plants in 40 districts. If its cost of production is more, why not make good use of the subsidy here? At Least here the cost of production, with increasing use, will come down and one day you can easily stop subsidies.
Think about the people who would be involved in running the plant. Many poor will get new jobs. That too without migrating to cities, so lesser slums in cities. They will live with families; better family life means better state of mind, better security, less crimes, and eventually an egalitarian society.
This is just an example. There are thousands of projects across the country which we can’t kick start because we don’t have capital(money). And the precious capital which you had, you wasted it in freebies. You may get our votes, you may come to power again, but we will remain poor as always, at-least till the next time, till you come with another mouth watering scheme in 2017.