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Nw: Search: Ringfence reforms to protect them from freebie culture

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Synopsis

Giving a free trudge to such freebie politics is no longer merely mental dishonesty nonetheless is moreover myopic for invariably in the wake of irresponsible schemes emanating from the politics of “free revdi” are permanent charges to the setting.

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Top Minister Narendra Modi‘s remarks in a recent speech at an event in Bundelkhand echoed across the border. Speaking on the political culture of meting out freebies, Modi’s reference to “free revdi” appears to occupy rubbed his political rivals the inaccurate capacity while striking the culture of entitlement underlying freebie politics to mainstream debate.

India has no longer had an true debate on this culture of entitlement and its many political manifestations in executive schemes and policies. A sterling instance of this lack of honesty is Delhi. For on the sphere of two years now, Delhi, governed by Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Accumulate collectively, has been the beneficiary of free electricity for payments under a definite threshold. Delhi is no longer finest home to the political and bureaucratic elite nonetheless moreover a large spectrum of media activists, non-governmental organisations and is the hub of activism of all forms, including of the fairway hue. It is striking that despite being the nerve center of such activism, there has no longer even been a murmur in Delhi in opposition to this intention of free electricity while the residents are lectured forever on air pollution and climate replace come November-December every 12 months.

It is that this lack of honesty that has encouraged irresponsible politics of free electricity to be exported to quite a pair of states. Miniature marvel thus that Kejriwal, during a recent seek the recommendation of with to Gujarat, promised to raise his protection of free electricity to the assert earlier than assert assembly elections due later this 12 months.

One wonders if Kejriwal became once blind to the history of subsidised electricity in Gujarat and subsequent reforms or if he became once attempting to turn the vitality reforms clock back in Gujarat?

Gujarat, earlier than the introduction of Modi as chief minister in 2001, became once the victim of the worst model of freebie politics over electricity provide. Erroneous policies of 1980s that seen rampant misuse of subsidised electricity in the assert contributed immensely to environmental injury, depleting floor water while doing dinky to be certain steady vitality provide. Worse became once the fiscal injury from unpaid electricity dues.

It became once on the back of this sordid scenario that Modi supplied one of many most intrepid and revolutionary reforms in the vitality sector thru Jyotigram intention. The success fable of Jyotigram is smartly documented in the recently launched book Modi@20 – Targets meet Shipping.

Writing on Jyotigram, eminent economist Ashok Gulati explains how the vitality sector reforms contributed to improved groundwater table, steady vitality provide and sustainable funds of the vitality sector.

It became once thus galling to gaze this strive and switch the clock back on vitality sector reforms in Gujarat with this irresponsible promise of free electricity.

It is abnormal that the most vocal of environmental activists fall completely still on irresponsible politics of subsidies and freebies which can be at possibility of motive injury both to the setting and to funds.

Raising the scenario of vitality reforms, the Top Minister recently highlighted the big pendency of dues to central vitality generation companies and to the vitality distribution companies from a range of assert governments. Miniature marvel that the states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, among others, with top pendency occupy considered unsustainable subsidy politics. Punjab and Rajasthan moreover had the ideal steadiness subsidy receivable by discoms, working into tens of thousands of crores of rupees.

The politics of “free revdi” is moreover lazy politics for it takes the political shortcut of entitlement looking out for reasonably than doing the laborious work of amassing political capital to pursue tough-to-implement reforms.

Giving a free trudge to such freebie politics is no longer merely mental dishonesty nonetheless is moreover myopic for invariably in the wake of irresponsible schemes emanating from the politics of “free revdi” are permanent charges to the setting.

One hopes that Gujarat roundly rejects any strive and switch the clock back on reforms by looking out for to import inaccurate and irresponsible schemes that are moreover contributing adversely to climate replace.


The contributor is Former CEO, Prasar Bharati

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the author. The information and opinions expressed right here attain no longer replicate the views of www.economictimes.com.)

Tuesday, 02 August, 2022

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