Budget 2016: Rs. 25,000 Cr Scam And More

The Bank Scam

So, it’s done. Rs 25,000 cr has been provided in the budget for recapitalization of PSBs for taking care of the “stressed assets” of the banks. Basically, all the bad loans of the corporate will be written off with this money. Further, if the amount is found insufficient, additional amount will be allocated. This is nothing but a scam. The public funds are being siphoned off into the pockets of rogue corporates. Incredible. This is worse than terrorism!
I am sure no mainstream media will be interested in exposing this scam. In fact, they are complaining that the recapitalization is Rs. 10,000 cr too short. That’s because the markets were expecting Rs. 35,000 cr recapitalization. Per se there is nothing wrong in recapitalization, but it is the context in which this recapitalization is being done which is offensive. The context here is the “stressed assets”. I don’t understand how can anybody infuse public funds into PSBs to provide for their “stressed assets”. This way the PSBs will not even try to recover the bad loans but would rather lend even further to the erring corporates in the perverse hope that they will start earning. People like Mallya should be begging on streets, but he has exited coolly with Rs. 500 cr booty for looting banks. On the other hand, a small waiter in a restaurant would be punished for breaking a tea cup. All these corporate should be referred to BIFR for bankruptcy proceedings, but, no, in India thugs are worshipped! What worse, this scam is only going to increase in size as can be seen from the interviews which junior minister is giving to media channels. He intends to infuse as much money as required in the PSBs, which can well increase to double the amount allocated or even to a higher number. But the Indian media will not call it a scam; they will rather call it good economics. Indian media is hardly any media: they are propaganda machinery of the corporate, period!

Lower Middle Income

When the revenue increases by 19,610 crore inspite of revenue loss from direct taxes, you know what has been done. Of course, indirect taxes have been increased, which goes from the pocket of the poor/lower middle income.
This government has this time attacked the lower middle class, and I am surprised how they could even think of doing it. Indirect taxes on most consumer durables and services consumed by the middle income group have been increased. At the same time, direct taxes on the entrepreneurs have been withdrawn. I don’t understand what this government is thinking. Those who will go and work in these start ups and industry will be taxed more, but a few entrepreneurs will not be taxed because they generate employment. This is ridiculous!

Rural Economy

The budget seems to be laying lots of emphasis on agriculture after roads. The moto is to move from “Food Security” to “Income Security”. This “Income Security”, it seems, is being desired to be ensured by better irrigation facilities. I don’t know how can one double income in five years by better irrigation facilities, introducing a few insurance scheme and introducing organic farming (I support organic farming, but it doesn’t increase income) — interestingly, the outlay on irrigation has actually been reduced YoY. I think the FM has missed the point on rural economy. They have a kind of an amalgamated economy. The joint family households work in coordination on all spheres of activities, starting from working in fields to construction of personal and community infrastructure, like houses, wells, etc. So, the division of labour as such doesn’t exist in rural areas. And, for this reason, there are plenty of cost savings. They don’t spend money on buying food, milk and other bare necessities. Unless there is a drought or any other calamity, forced or natural, the community takes care of the security needs of the people, including food security. They obviously earn much lesser than what they deserve, but they don’t complain because their world is small. They are committing suicide only because the external forces are depriving them of their natural ambience of security. Instead of removing these negative externalities, this government is reinforcing them under their fancy idea of “Income Security”.

Cow Temples

Further, I fail to understand why no one ever questions this nonsensical expenditure on “Swacch Bharat”. Rs 9,000 cr has been allocated towards this nonsense. And I am not sure if any or many money allocated towards MNREGA is also being diverted towards building these toilets. This is another scam. I think finally these toilets will be occupied by cows, and then Modi will rechristen them as “Cow Temples”. No wonder, he wanted to build toilets before temples.

Privacy

AADHAR based financial services through the new legislation will be a clear contempt of the SC orders directing not to deny subsidies/services in absence of AADHAR number. This is a serious issue of privacy infringement. This government is trying to infringe the privacy rights of the people. Please read my earlier posts on this issue:
Minority Report: An Indian Adaptation
Attack on Right to Privacy

About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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