Amidst growing expenditure on petroleum products and subsidy, the Modi Government has come up with a new idea.
The idea is : If you can easily pay for the cost of the non-subsidised LPG cylinder, then why not you willingly give up the subsidised LPG cylinder and buy the non-subsidised one. You will have to pay Rs 450 more than the subsidised cylinder, but can’t you make that sacrifice for the Nation?
If you are lucky enough to contribute to this Nation Building exercise, then you can even get an SMS from one of State run public Sector Oil companies, which reads like this :
Want to join nation building? Its simple – just give up LPG Subsidy. Visit indane.co.in or dsitributor for details.
The Government is making this appeal via the Oil companies.
And the Government hopes that if 1 Crore people forego LPG subsidy then the country will save Rs 3500 crores annually on subsidy. So far, 1470 Indians have already participated in Nation building and the IOC is even planning to honour them by putting their names on its website.
Now, it’s up to you to decide. Giving up subsidy will mean spending about Rs 5000 more on LPG every year.
To motivate for this exercise, the Government wants to inform you that the money saved this way (Rs 3500 crore if 1 crore people give up LPG subsidy) will be invested in expanding the LPG in the Rural areas.
Don’t know of others but I see this quite wrong.
The idea of willingly giving up LPG Cylinder subsidy looks Great, it has serious Consequences
A country is a sovereign. That’s it governs the people not by any right given to it by any person or a group of persons, but by itself (or by God, if you believe in one). A country must ORDER people to do or abstain from doing things. It must not PLEAD. The previous Government’s decision to reduce the number of LPG cylinders to 9 cylinders a year was the right move, as it was an order which every citizen had to abide to. If the present Government makes a law which removes Indians earning more than a certain amount annually from the ambit of LPG subsidy then that decision can be welcomed. But requesting those who can afford non-subsidised cylinder, to forego the subsidy is not right.
There is a much bigger consequence of this pleading. It can divide the people into RICH and POOR. A country doesn’t do welfare activities or makes special concessions for the poor and downtrodden , as the rich (or those who can afford things) give up the subsidy. A country does such welfare activities simply because it sees such acts necessary. Even when the entire nation discusses how the country will arrange the funds for these acts, no one challenges it. Why? as a Nation is Supreme. Suppose, the Government doesn’t reach its 1 crore goal. Will it not strengthen the mindset that the Nation is dependent on the privileged?
If a Government of a Sovereign country starts begging people to give up something, so that it can provide for subsidies to the poor, downtrodden; then very soon it will see a mindset, where Rich people will assume that everything that’s being done for the poor, is because of their generosity. A country is not dependent on that generosity. Even when the past Governments never rolled out such stupid ideas, still we see an increasing tendency among educated and well paid India which constantly questions the nation for wasting taxpayers’ money on subsidies. Imagine what will happen if the Government itself acknowledges such shallow claims.
If the Government wants to expand LPG reach in villages, then it make rules to arrange money for that. It must not plead.
To conclude, in the recent Budget 2014, the Government increased the income tax exemption limit to Rs 2,50,000. That exemption mean the Government getting Rs 22-23, 000 crores less income. If the Government needs to depend on the rich for Rs 3500 crore for LPG expansion; then why it increased the IT exemption limit. After all those people who benefit from the exemption will be the ones who will give up the LPG subsidy!