Thursday, April 17, 2014

The politics of pupular decisions

Two years ago when the BJP Government came to power, they reduced the VAT on Petrol to 0.1%. This was one of the most popular decision by this government. It also received a wide national publicity. All the countrymen applauded the Goa government's decision and judged Goa to be a progressive state just based on the fuel prices. There is no doubt Goa is a progressive state, but this is a wrong measure!
The Goa government's intention was probably to insulate the common man from increase in petroleum prices. But, in my opinion, there are better ways of doing this. How about overhauling the public transport? Since the implementation of this VAT reduction, Goa has lost about Rs.300 crore worth of potential revenue. Had this money been used for a up-gradation of state owned public transport, it would have had a far wider impact than reduction in Petrol VAT. Not to forget, it would have generated revenue, jobs and made the roads in Goa far more free.
The Goa government already distributes a lot of money to the public through many schemes (like unemployment stipend, widow pension, DA for housewives etc.). I am sure this would take care of petrol price rise as well. Instead the government should concentrate on giving employment opportunity to Goans.
But, the governments are increasingly becoming populists. They sacrifice long term visions for short term popularity and gains. 
It's high time governments stop giving fish to people and teach them fishing instead!
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