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Burden of Scams is being passed on to Poor People of India

 

Monday January 20, 2013

India, Sharad Yadav, Diesel Price Hike, Subsidy, Agriculture  
 
In India, 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 in India, writes Member of Parliament and Convener of NDA, Sharad Yadav.  
Sharad Yadav  
 

I strongly oppose the hike in the diesel prices as decided by the Government of India. It will be a great blow to the common man in the country who is already reeling under pressure of high prices of essential commodities.  Again the same question arises, which I have been asking the Government, that the burden of scams to the extent of Rs. 5.5 lakh Crores  right from Common Wealth Games to Coal gate is being passed on to the poor people of the country.

The step of hike in the prices of diesel is an atrocious act of the Government. The end effect of hike in diesel prices will ultimately be on further rise in prices of essential commodities. I gave a memorandum to the then Petroleum Minister Shri Jaipal Reddy that we should find some mechanism that the subsidy of diesel should not be enjoyed by rich people and the subsidy is only given to agriculturists.

 

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]

 
 

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