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How To Reduce The Tax Burden

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The main source of income for any system of government is the tax levied on the people. The taxes that Indian democracy, directly and indirectly, collect from the people are huge. Despite the collection of additional taxes, the government does not have adequate financial resources for governance, infrastructure development, and social security systems. It receives grants from global financial institutions for financial mobilization. In addition, it also receives funds from local banks and citizens through bonds.

This kind of fundraising though is not enough and new types of taxes are being imposed on the people. With each such tax increase, the cost of living increases directly and indirectly. The prices of essential commodities are going up significantly. In effect, this is not an adornment of a declining democratic regime. In such times, it is advisable to reduce the tax burden as much as possible as well as improve governance efficiency, infrastructure development, and productivity. Why is this not possible in our democracy?

The people of India are generally reluctant to pay taxes. This is based on the general assumption that the tax money paid does not particularly benefit the country or the people, in the end. There is no visible infrastructure development or social security. The legal system and the system of governance provide many loopholes for people to escape without paying any taxes. Tax collection is not efficient because bureaucracy is inefficient, bureaucracy is indifferent and the bureaucracy is addicted to bribery. So, the expected revenue does not reach the government treasury. The treasury then gets emptied when higher salaries and other benefits are paid to the bureaucracy. Thus there is no money for development, in the end.

A democratic government must find new sources of finance to address the shortfalls in tax revenue. Public sector industries, science, and technology, water resources, mineral resources, etc. are all economic resources. For various reasons, our democratic government is unable to use all these effectively.

The Malaise Of Public Sector Industries

Public sector industries are said to losing money. These losses are due to poor governance, financial indiscipline and mismanagement. Hiring more workers than necessary puts public sector industries at a disadvantage.

In a democracy, the purpose of public sector enterprises is not productivity or profit, but to give high positions to the leaders of each faction under pressure from the various political parties.

‘Bribery and commission’ are unavoidable conditions that exist for the purchase of machinery, their upgradation, the purchase of raw materials for production, and the sale of products. As their industrial intentions are not for profit, they have to sustain the loss-making PSUs. This causes the tax burden to increase rather than decrease.

There is no significant difference in operational objectives when it comes to public sector service industries. It is ‘the allotment of positions to politicians and the strengthening of trade unions‘. The only difference here is service marketing instead of product marketing. The idea of ​​democratic governance then implies that service is free. That is what bureaucratic arrogance means. The policy is to accept if necessary.

If you want to get a telephone connection, an electricity connection, a water supply connection, or even a ration card, you have to submit applications, walk into government offices and follow in the footsteps of the officials till you get it done. And pay other necessary bribes. It is a situation where even though these are achieved with great difficulty, they do not benefit much in the end.

This is also a situation where the public is not able to access the services they need. Non-transportable roads, breakdowns in power lines, shortage of medicines in hospitals, loss of transmission, loss of supply, and so on.

Effective Use Of Mineral Resources

Minerals are the precious wealth of any country. Despite the scarcity of a few minerals such as petroleum and gold, India is rich in many other minerals.

Our country is rich in coal, granite, mosaic, iron ore, ilmenite, monocyte, and lignite.

Used effectively, it can boost the country’s economy. Tax breaks can be reduced. It has become acceptable for the ruling class to stop the mining of minerals and to oversee the mining by extorting money from private companies.

Black sand, red clay, granite, sand, and clay are common mining materials. Mining without clear regulations can cause environmental damage. These are sources of revenue for the local self-governing bodies if they control the mining of essential mining materials under the control and authority of the local self-governing bodies subject to legal provisions and with the guarantee that the environment is protected. In this way, the tax burden can be reduced.

If used effectively like mineral wealth, forest and water resources can also be an integral part of the country’s economy. This will also help reduce the tax burden on people. Ours is a country that gets a lot of rainwater and snow water compared to other countries. If utilized through projects like hydropower, irrigation, and water supply, all these will generate revenue for the government. Unfortunately, most of the excess water is drained into the sea. It should be noted that there are many areas in our country where there is a shortage of basic necessities and drinking water.

Rethinking Infrastructural Development

Plans are effective when they are formulated in order of priority and implemented in a timely manner. The economy that the government oversees is effective when it minimizes money laundering, wastage of money, and wastage of resources. For this, planning must be efficient. Neither of these exists in our democracy. Our democracy enjoins a general policy of formulating central and state-based plans and implementing them on a local basis with priority to local self-government institutions. No such projects are prioritized on a local basis. Even when finances are spent on development, no significant development activities are overseen on a priority basis.

Money is spent on the construction of essential buildings and culverts. Many of these become obsolete over time. Many of these constructions become unusable and a lot of money is spent on repairing them. Many of the buildings are unused and become hubs for anti-social activities. In the long run, there is no planning that goes into the plans and the construction is in a state of disrepair.

There is an additional financial burden of having to plan different projects at the same time and feel the financial strain of allocating funds for their implementation and not being able to complete the projects on time. In the meanwhile, the financial allocation and the misappropriation of funds are different.

If our democracy was efficient, if tax collection was effective, if public sector industries and services worked for the betterment of people, if mining, minerals, water, and forest resources were used effectively, and projects were planned with foresight, if the financial administration had been effective, there would not be such a heavy tax burden on the people.

This requires democratic palmistry. The decentralization of power must take place. Bureaucracy and regulations, regulations, and penalties need to be strengthened. Public sector industries and service industries should be regulated by officials with administrative skills in accordance with the appropriate rules and regulations. The lack of these in our democratic system imposes an additional tax burden on the people. This remains the curse of our democracy.


Communication Associate

Institute for Sustainable Development and Governance

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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