This action of the Government seems to be that
controlling of prices has gone out of their hand and in this Government poor man
would go on suffering.
There is no logic in providing subsidized
diesel to private car owners, mall owners, big buildings using
generators and mobile telecom towers etc. It is ridiculous that, if you
see in the Capital or any metropolitan city, one person alone is using
one car and who is bearing burden of this usage, the only common man who
is a tax payer. The higher consumption of diesel by these very people
has led to a huge increase in subsidies.
There is an estimate of wastage of
Rs.23,000 Crores subsidy during the financial year 2013. I am surprised
that even after 65 years of our independence, we have not been able to
find a mechanism by which only agriculturists and transporters of
essential commodities could utilize subsidized diesel.
I think that we should have computerized
records of land of agriculturists in the country and through land
records we can assess the number of tractors being used by them and
similarly the generators being used for irrigation.
I have been raising this issue time and
again in and outside Parliament, but it seems that the Government has
closed its ears. It was mentioned by me, when Shri Pranab Mukherjee was
the Finance Minister & Leader of the House, that the Government should
evolve some system whereby agriculturists are able to utilize the
subsidized diesel only. He responded to my suggestion by saying that the
Government would look into this. There is a subsidy on diesel being
provided to the extent of Rs.84,000 Crores from the exchequer of the
Government out of total subsidy of Rs.1.60 lakh Crore on total petroleum
products which can be a saved to a great extent if dual pricing of
diesel is adopted by the Government. I am failed to understand that on
one hand the Government is not concerned about increasing the
agricultural production and also disposing of its natural resources at
throw away prices, and on the other hand selling diesel to rich people
at the subsidized rates! It is difficult to understand as to why the
Government cannot target the needy consumers of diesel. The Government
is benefiting the rich people by both hands and mutilating the poor
people which will prove to be disastrous for any Government in power.
Once again I reiterate that the Government
should target the genuine consumers of diesel who deserve to take
benefit of subsidy and therefore it is necessary for the Government to
put in place some mechanism for consumers of subsidized diesel so that
the expenditure of the Government is rationalized.
[Author is the President of Indian Political Party Janata Dal (U), a
Member of Indian Parliament and Convener of NDA]