Ajay Chhibber: How to improve the welfare state | Business Standard Column

Ajay Chhibber: How to improve the welfare state | Business Standard Column
Online comments:
The issues raised in the article are very relevant, especially at this point of time when government policy is undergoing a churning phase with proposals like re-inventing the whole planning process(existing structures like the Planning Commission are proposed to be demolished for rebuilding new ones) and fueling hope at the ground level with promises like providing toilets and bank accounts for all(this is a welcome improvement over bank accounts and mobiles for all).
Every elite economist and most of those get space to express their views in the mainstream media have an aversion to subsidy. As I am not a student of economics, I can easily define subsidy as a product of bad employment, income, prices and wages policies. If the state is able to manage these policies with the overall welfare of the people in view, subsidy bills will come down. The policy changes should factor in, inter alia, assured opportunity for education up to age 18, a minimum wage policy that ensures ‘living wages’ for all workers, a realistic and reasonable insurance scheme, post-retirement and health care. If welfare is built-in in governance, cost of welfare will not be seen in isolation and criticized like this. Corruption, inefficiency and ‘leakages’ are separate issues which should be handled mercilessly.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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