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A nation wasted
With such wastage, development is a distant dream

India’s dismal ranking in the Human Development Report of the UNDP is virtually unchanged due to the abysmal state of primary education and health care system, the unabated profligacy and wastage in the name of governance. An estimated 22 crore citizens live below the poverty line and go to bed on one square meal a day. The extremely efficient Public Distribution System wastes food grains worth an estimated Rs 58,000 crore annually. This amount is more than enough to provide for a nourishing meal to every Indian every night. As if this was not humiliating enough for the destitute masses, the recent CAG report states that the PSUs waste more than Rs 7000 crore in often unnecessary expenditure and avoidable delays. Government expenditure to the tune of Rs 26,000 crore is unaccounted for. Millions of young and aspiring entrepreneurs of this country are often resigned to their fate for want of seed capital, which is more scarce here than pure drinking water.

It happens only in India!!!

UNDP Human Development Report (HDR)                      126th (rank)
Transparency international Corruption Perception Index  74 (rank)
No. of people living Below Poverty Line                          22 crore
Estimated foodgrain wasted annually                             Rs 58,000 cr
Money wasted by PSUs annually                                   7000 + crore
Government expenditure unaccounted for                     26000 crore

Similarly, while much hype is created on the zooming sale of four wheelers, what is often not declared overtly is that these happy rides result in a burgeoning loss of Rs 50,000 crore for oil PSUs. This is due to a mismatch between cost of production and selling price. It would once again be the common man who would be asked to compensate for the subsidised joyride of the affluent through more taxes. Sixteen years of economic liberalisation and gaining entry into the trillion dollar economy ‘hall of fame’ notwithstanding, babudom and a colonial mentality still prevail in our government. The government and its babus are the ones who have the prerogative to waste precious money meant for nation building, while the middle class have to slog and save most of what they earn. Or else they get taxed for committing the ‘crime’ of earning legally. The rest is history.

Pathikrit Payne

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