Monday, December 17, 2007

MMS talks of subsidy pruning!

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assertions on the need to prune the subsidy bill got the routine verbal caning from the Left parties. The allies of the government said the prime minister should first accept the blame for his government’s failure to ensure that subsidies reached its intended beneficiaries.

Although the prime minister’s plan to tackle the large subsidy bill has no backing from his allies, Mr Singh has been using various government fora to articulate his point that the situation has become untenable. The Left and components of the UPA are opposed to any cut in food, fertiliser and fuel subsidies. “The government cannot say no to these subsidies. These were meant for the farmers, those living below poverty line and the common man,” CPI’s D Raja said.

This, after augmenting the Haj subsidy by several hundred Crore Rupees, doling out $700 million to Pakistan and most recently, showing undue "compassion" for East Pakistan with a $30 million gift in addition to 50,000 tonnes of Rice. One could argue both sides on the issue of subsidies. Yes, it's bad for the economy. And No, there isn't anything wrong with agricultural subsidies - even the home of free trade and capitalism doles out subsidies to it's farmers, including rich ranchers in Texas.
The Indian communists do have a legitimate point here, although for the wrong reasons. The real reason why domestic subsidies for Indian citizens can and should be continued is that we can apparently afford it, if the profligate expenditure on subsidisation of Mohammedan aggression in SOUTH ASIA by Shikhandi MMS and the UPA dhimmis is any indicator.

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