Dr. Manmohan Singh's sudden concern and allocation of Rs. 25,000 crore to be spent on agricultural development in next four years (with only 2 years remaining for this government) tells a lot of untold stories. Initial public or media reactions can be summed up as ?agriculturists are cold and business tycoons are glowing with anticipation?. His 14-point action plan can, at best, be considered to be an approach to understanding the problems and dimensions of agricultural crisis! His naivet? is astounding! As if, problems of Indian agriculture are not known since, at least, later part of nineteenth century! The whole intention of this scheme is to introduce and legalise contract farming and hand over farming control to profit-propelled private enterprises, so that all agriculturists can become contract or bonded labourers.
Portent is gloomy for India, provided agriculturists, artisans, workers and the poor do not make up their minds to ?deliver the order of the boot? to all overt and covert supporters of manmohanics, i.e. every evil being perpetrated under the cover of slogans of economic reforms, liberalisation or globalisation.
We wonder what sort of mind set could conjure up a scheme for spending Rs. 25,000 crore in four years for agriculture, whereas, Tatas in one deal with Corus of UK* could commit more than $12 billions (i.e., about Rs. 60,000 crore) for taking nebulous control over a sick Steel company of UK. Apparently, saving UK based Corus is considered more important than ensuring Indian food security by our government and the Indian businessmen!
Absurdity and grotesqueness of the scheme will be clear if we consider a simple arithmetic: Rs. 25,000 crore to be spent in 4 years; hence yearly Rs 6,250 crore to be spent.
Assuming 30 per cent of total population, i.e. 30 crore, i.e. 300 million agriculturists or agriculture dependent people, per capita yearly availability of fund for agriculture will be = Rs. 62,500 million / 300 million = Rs. 208.33
We have assumed that all funds will reach agriculturists. That is a fond hope.
Then Congress Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, had said once that only 12 paise per rupee allocated actually reaches the target population.
You can now decide for yourself what revolution will occur in agricultural growth rate during the current tenure of this government.
We consider that agriculture cannot grow in a collapsing economy. Further, agriculturists also constitute the bulk of the poor populace. If we have no intention of attacking perpetuated poverty, we cannot hope to tackle problems of agriculture. Ensuring social security is the simplest and direct method of tackling problems of burgeoning poverty and those of agricultural sector.
There is no social security in India, as there is no money to spare for such luxury. The current theory of the elite is that the rich countries can only provide social security?the corollary implied is that since India is an undeveloped country it has no call to provide social security, with the judiciary morosely agreeing with the power elite. If any one argues that social security is more required in undeveloped countries, that person will be considered an aberrant specimen of humanity. Since unknown soldiers have no concern or are not much bothered about the opinion of economists or other self-aggrandised elite, they wish to put forward the doctrine that social security is an important and essential contributor to GDP. Social security payments go in procuring the basic essentials of life and living; domestic consumption goes up thereby; more basic goods and services get produced and marketed. In economic terms more money in the hands of the deserving can only mean more GDP growth, as, ?Income Velocity of Money? is still more than one, even after more than a decade of liberalisation. When income velocity declines that is a notice that some one or entity is affecting supply-compression and supply-management for profiteering to improve the so-called ?bottom-line?. More GDP growth will necessarily result in more job creation, provided government policies do not permit job-compression by such diabolical devices as BPO (outbound Business Process Outsourcing by Indian or alien entities), acquiring of industries and businesses abroad by the wealthy Indians and excessive expenditures by the government and elite on luxury-goods.
We have recommended a simple social security measure. Every man/woman/ child whose income level is low and child up to age of 18 and unemployed adult will automatically get (without any paper work) every month from central treasury or central bank (i.e. RBI) an amount equal to the ?Monthly Statutory Wages for Unskilled Labour?, as social security payment. The requisite amount (indexed to inflation every quarter) can be credited monthly to smart debit/identity card issued to all Indians by Election Commission. It will be culpable crime of Election Commission if they fail to ensure provision of I-Card, interim if necessary, to all Indians entitled for social security payment from the treasury within first six months of the promulgation of social security scheme and provide regular I-card to them within first one year.
Knowing that the slogan of ?where is the money?? will be raised by the all-knowing judges and the psychologically and pathologically corrupt elite, we have also developed the arithmetical background to our recommendations.
Cost of elementary social security
Population of India?1.1 billion (assumed in 2006)
People who will be entitled for social security in perpetuity:
a) Women and girl children of lowest earning 40 per cent of population?say 20 per cent of population
b) Male children of lowest earning 20 per cent?say 5 per cent
c) Children below the age of 18 (irrespective of whether employed or not) of the lowest earning 50 per cent of population and unemployed adult?say, 10 per cent of population.
d) Total percentage of population who will be entitled for social security payment?35 per cent.
Assuming minimum statutory wages as: [12 months X 365 days X 8 hours per day X Rs. 6 per hour = Rs. 2,10,240 or rounded to] Rs. 21,000/- (for comfort of penny-wise pound-foolish economists) per year, the social security payment cost to the nation will be:
1.1 billion X 0.35 X Rs. 21000 = Rs. 8085 billion = approximated to Rs. 9 trillion (to cater for the essential leak in administrative delivery system, i.e. pilfering by power elite).
This amount can easily be found by cutting back the requisite amount from the concessions of more than Rs. 35 trillion now being given to big businesses, as reported by India Today weekly magazine published from New Delhi or bringing in and monetizing some of the billions of dollars parked in American Banks for comfort of Americans. SBI has gone to market with full-page advertisements that Rs.14.5 trillion will be spent on infra-structure projects (for affluent only). How about forgetting infrastructure projects till social security is provided?
Is practicable social security feasible in India till we shake off the strangle-hold of USA on Indian economy through contrived FE rate preventing the realisation of Parity Exchange Rate of US $ 1 = India Rupee 1* or till such time all our hard-earned FE continues to be parked in foreign, especially, American Banks abroad? I ask Dr. Manmohan Singh once again what does he think of our parity rate?
(Note: All references are from the book ?THE ECONOMICS OF PERPETUATION AND ELIMINATION OF POVERTY – THE INDIAN PARADIGM? by Air Marshal A K Mukhopadhyaya. Any one needing any clarification, elucidation or explanation may kindly write to Authors e-mail address: [email protected].)