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Day 51- Ques & Ans

Subsidies are not only regressive but also cause misallocation of resources. How far recent initiatives taken by the government in this regard would address the issue? Are these steps sufficient? Critically examine.

Subsidies are part of welfare state policy across the world and India is no exception. But in recent time it is found that subsides are more regressive and miscalculated as-

  • Subsidy in railway cause poor infrastructure development and mostly rich section use it more than poor.
  • Agriculture subsidy has cause real challenge in terms of water depletion and soil quality
  • Subsidy for gasoline has not been reached till poor and it has contributed for adulteration of vehicle fuel, major cause of pollution.
  • LPG subsidy mostly used by rich than poor which is not needed.

To address this challenge in recent time government has taken many initiatives like

  • Privatization of diesel and petroleum prices, now government do not control the prices
  • DBT for transferring the subsidy to reduce ghost users and efficient transfer of money
  • In agriculture steps like soil testing, separate electricity feeder, promote DBT for fertilizer purchase
  • Legislative backing for ADHAR

These steps have reduced ghost users, direct targeted the end users, reduce middle men to check the corruption, and reduce the subsidy burden.  However much more steps need to be taken in this regard like

  • Railway need to have independent body to set ticket and fright prices.
  • For agriculture subsidy, it needs to switch from conventional input oriented to push for micro and drip irrigation type innovations.
  • PDS and gasoline subsidy need to bring under innovation like biometric service delivery to check misuse. JAM trinity has huge scope in this regard.
  • Selection process of real beneficiary is still a target for government.

India need subsidy support for poor and in sectors like transport, agriculture, and so on but it need to be rationalize and target oriented than only it will serve the real purpose as referred by directive principles in constitution.

There has been a recent trend of reviving the legacy of national leaders who took part in India’s freedom struggle. What does this trend denote? Do you think leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose have been given due credit and recognition in history? Analyse.

In last two years many national heroes get grand remembrance by government like Sardar Patel ji birth celebration as national unity day, Subash Bose birth celebration, Ambedkar Ji birth event at national level and so on. Such events deliver few messages

  • It is for making these icons a life time hero for coming generations
  • Try to make space for heroes who could not get enough focus for one or other reason in past.
  • These enters are medium to articulate own political ideology.
  • Vote bank politics is also there.

Subash Bose, a real hero of Indian independence get credit and recognitions in past also as

  • 23 jan, his birthday get celebrated across the country earlier also
  • His role for developing INA and his heroism known to every Indian child through history books
  • His idea of Planning commission got place after independence as planning commission

However much more could be done in that regard including other unknown national heroes like

  • Promotional events at national level like “Bharat ko Jano”
  • File related to life of these heroes should be made available to public
  • Few nationals program and initiative like Swach Bharat could be named to these unknown heroes as it has been focused for few names
  • Historical research need to have more details on his life for public knowledge.
  • Remember other regional heroes and also tribal hero like Birsa Munda to bring all sects together as nation.

Many other unknown pre independence heroes need more space and recognition in present day so youth will have more and more icons and will know sacrifices made by them for present generations.

The best model of financing smart cities in India is self financing wherein cities generate their own capital to create assets and public infrastructure. Discuss the viability of this model for Indian cities.

Smart cities are new charm for India and under Smart city mission, center has proposed to allocate 100 crore Rs per year for financial support but it is not enough to make cities smart. It is possible to make sustainable smart cities by own sources but to that need few concrete steps-

  • Quality civic services– citizens will be more than happy to pay for services if it gets delivered with quality and standard.
  • Control of local taxes– city metropolitan bodies need to have more control and share in total taxes so they will have more financial independence to implement projects.
  • Expertise– as XIV FC suggested civic bodies in cities can generate resources by issuing municipality bonds or by attracting private partners. But these steps need expertise and professionalism which at present our civic bodies do not posses.
  • Fix financial allocation- as it has happened in XIV FC, fix financial support need to provide from center and state to civic bodies at city level.
  • People participation– it is the bottom line and it get ensure than fund management, transparency, quality of service, and so on all problems will be largely get address.
  • Transparency– it is must for service delivery, managing public institutes, and mobilizing funds
  • Convergence-from other government initiatives like AMRUT, HRIDAY will be a good opportunity; better monitoring of services and fund collection is also extended part of it.

Great cities across the world like London, or Madrid all are self sustained and generate own resources. External help has limited role to play in smart city project and local sources will bring ultimate success.

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