Delhites got a boost after the Delhi cabinet decided to reduce VAT or value-added tax on the fuel to 16.75% from 30%. This is brought a respite to the diesel prices in Delhi from Rs 82 to Rs 73.64 with a focus on the budget of a common ordinary man as the menace of Corona has wreaked havoc on the life and livelihood of the people in the city. Earlier in May, the AAP led Delhi Government had hiked value-added tax on auto fuels as petrol and diesel prices in the country are dependent upon international prices of products coupled with other related factors.
This might compel other state governments to walk the talk as their population continues battling Corona due to the lack of supportive infrastructure, innovations, and investments in health care services, supplies, and facilities. In states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the situation is fast rotting as the fury and anxieties of the people have spontaneously brewed and boiled with a highly lax and irresponsible state apparatus and machinery. Moreover, in states, the situation is disquieting as leaders are engaged in preparing either for their larger priorities and purpose through which attempting, impacting, and influencing the masses becomes easier than being done.
Thus, in Uttar Pradesh despite the rising figures of Corona, the government and administration were busy giving the final touch to the Ram Temple ceremony scheduled for August 5, broadcasting the presence of the hardliner Hindutva fanatics and activists believing in the just cause of the building of the temple ignoring advisories, come what may.
In Bihar, the Nitish Kumar government is a denial mode unable in coming to terms with the reality as Corona and floods intertwined has weakened the efforts and initiatives on the part of civil society groups, individuals, groups, and organizations. The government is clueless on the ways and manners through which the cases can see a drop in the backdrop of essential resources and manpower which could have been substantial in bringing a drop to the total number of active cases.
During the start when the Corona figures were on a high in the capital, a lot was being said and commented on the leadership and administrative ability of Arvind Kejriwal led AAP but in less than two months his party and government have outperformed his competitors. If we were to glance at the total number of active Corona cases, availability of beds, medical supplies, services, and equipment facilitated by the AAP government in a semi-state metro city where the Centre commands an absolute and competitive edge is great.
Most of the authorities and agencies directly report to the Centre on the works and tasks being undertaken for ameliorating and upgrading the infrastructure of the city calling for a joint alliance and collaboration of the Delhi government and Centre. I remember Home Minister Amit Shah paying a surprise visit to Delhi’s LNJP Hospital on June 15 to assess and gauge the preparations and availability of beds, oxygen, and ventilators for Covid-19 patients stunning the senior functionaries of the Delhi Government.
As none of the functionaries of the Delhi Government was invited and presented when Shah made a visit to the hospital, this hugely disappointed the leaders of AAP. Ensuring a dramatic turn, in quick succession, the Delhi Government announced Plasma blood banks in ILBS Hospital and GB Pant Hospital, majorly benefitting the serious cases also by enhancing the state of the art healthcare services and system.
The overall Corona situation in Delhi is improving a bit as hospitals are getting a lesser number of admissions due to increased testing and isolation of those testing positive for the virus along with necessary guidelines, protocols, and procedures. I believe the conduct and partnership between AAP led Delhi Government and BJP led Centre is mutually promising serving well the priorities and aspirations of the people by mellowing the sparring of any conflict between the two.
Eventually, this has to begin with releasing the GST shares of the states, otherwise, the states will find it tricky to maintain and manage resources as taxes are one of the precious assets for doing welfare. And, also for initiating key policy legislations following the requirements of the people. Thus, the Centre should practically illustrate by responding to the grievances of the states as and when the need occurs and arises for it, do dutiful justice to the conception of federalism as a living document and thesaurus of just and equal allocation and distribution of resources.
Nothing more, nothing less.