GOI's finances

Into a black hole - Business Line editorial, February 25, 2019


My response:

The Editor
The Hindu Business Line
February 25, 2019
Financial planning

This refers to your editorial “Into a black hole” (HBL, February 25). I would like to read this together with the report “PM rolls out Rs75,000 cr income support scheme for farmers” appearing on page 1 of the paper today. There is something glaringly missing in management of resources and finance by GOI and that is planning. Let us look at just two out of several situations where proof for this can be found.
Kisan Samman
Doling out the paltry amount of Rs17 per day to farmers below the poverty line is an insult to the Indian farming community. What is needed is to plug the leakages in pricing of farm produce between the farm gate and the consumer. Once a reasonable farm gate price for the produce is assured, the present generation of workers know to extract their share as wages. This can be achieved by promoting cooperatives for production, processing and marketing.
Funding government expenditure
GOI, of late, has been dipping too deep into the pockets of PSUs and GOI-owned bodies like RBI to meet shortfalls in revenue. This approach will definitely get sympathy from taxpayers and corporates. Taxpayers’ burden will be less to the extent GOI mobilizes resources from elsewhere and corporates can delay or deny repayments, if GOI make good the losses suffered by their creditors. But these are temporary reliefs and the country cannot delay mapping of domestic resources and ensuring distributive justice beyond a point.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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