Stop this Rs.2 per kg rice drama
I first heard this concept of Rs.2 per kg of rice when I was in my intermediate. At the time it was introduced in Andhra by the charismatic NTR. My English Lecturer waxed eloquently on the virtues of this scheme for eradicating poverty. Far sighted he was, he cautioned that next year the price should be increased by atleast 20 paisa so that it does not become a burden on the exchequer. That was 20 years ago but the Rs.2 per kg rice slogan is yet to desert the landscape of Indian Politics. Orissa Government is shortly to start giving Rs.2 per kg rice to poor people.
20 years back the price of one kg good quality rice in the market was around Rs.12. There was economic sense in giving it at Rs.2 but today what sense it makes. Today good quality rice in the market is around Rs.30. Very well this rice can be given free of cost. What difference will an additional Rs.2 burden on the drowned finances of most state governments? How many more elections have to be won on the basis of this Rs.2 per kg of rice? When will this amount be raised?
The only saving grace for this Rs.2 per kg of rice drama enacted by our politicians is a national sample survey which shows that nearly 20% of the population survives on a daily income of Rs.12 (refer my blogs http://indiaregion.sulekha.com/blog/post/2008/02/surviving-24-hours-at-rs-12.htm or http://balu036.blogspot.com/2008/02/surviving-24-hours-day-at-rs12.html) . Even in this case the blame squarely rests with the politicians that despite 9% growth, people have such meager incomes. People should boycott political parties which make them look like beggars instead they should ask for more income earning opportunities.