oppn parties Loan Waivers: No Laughing Matter

News Snippets

  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Loan Waivers: No Laughing Matter

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Chief Minister of West Bengal has petitioned the Prime Minister to completely waive off the Central loans to West Bengal given the state’s precarious financial position and inability to pay the same. It has again raised the bogey that when the TMC came to power, it inherited a bankrupt state.

So far so good, but what about the excesses committed in the last four years?

The TMC government has, despite the sorry financial condition of the state, indulged in one treasury draining populist scheme after another with abandon, as if there is no tomorrow. It has sought to build vote banks for the party at the expense of the tax payers and now it wants the Central government to underwrite the same.

Cooperative federalism does not mean the Central government will finance excesses of the state government. It is not like a joint family where the patriarch will fund the drinking-disco going binges of the youngest male member. There has to be some responsibility and the buck has to stop somewhere.

States will have to learn to live within their means. There are hundreds of welfare schemes for which funds are provided by the Centre. If the state announces its own schemes, it has to necessarily generate the funds from its own resources. One example will suffice: where was the urgent need for a nearly bankrupt government to provide monthly stipend for imams of all mosques in West Bengal? It was an unabashed attempt at winning over a particular community as a vote bank. Should the Centre finance this?

At the same time, there are reports of funds not being utilized in scores of Central welfare schemes and being repatriated. Is this the way to manage schemes?

The way out for the state is to curtail fancy welfare schemes, micro manage the funds that are given by the Centre for all-India welfare schemes, initiate appropriate revenue generating mechanism, plug leakages, clamp down hard on the rampant corruption at all levels and manage its books properly.

Loan waivers from the Centre will be its ticket to indulge in further excesses and ask for further loan waivers. This has to stop once and for all.