Modi’s government must learn lessons from Sri Lanka’s evolution
“The government’s exercise of the GST has been felt as a blow to ordinary people. The last GST rate hike was not against luxury goods, but against the day-to-day essentials of a common family. Items such as curds and paneer, which were previously exempt from GST, will now be subject to a 5% GST charge. Even everyday staples such as wheat, rice, and flour are not GST-free. »
The BJP government was keen to decorate the 75th year of independence with a resounding name. Because of this, people read and hear the term “Amritvarsh” every day. The word suggests a year when life would be victorious over death. As happens with every ceremonial name coined by the BJP, Amritvarsh is also heading in the opposite direction, where death looks fiercely at life. India’s Amritvarsh is characterized by unprecedented price hikes on all of life’s necessities. The people of India are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the price of shots and dwindling income. This Amritkaal is intended only for exploiters and looters. Ordinary people’s dream of having a decent life has turned to ashes. The forest fire of rising prices has eaten away at their hopes for life.
In the year of ‘Amritvarsh’, the price of daily commodities is higher than in the previous year. While a liter of packaged milk would have cost 56 rupees, in April it cost 60 rupees. The rise in vegetable prices last year was around 80-100 rupees per kg, this year it would cost 100-120 rupees for the same. The price of edible oil has doubled, a liter would have cost Rs 80-100 last year, now costs Rs 200-220 in April. While LPG two years ago cost Rs 450 for a joint family with a government subsidy, with Modi’s government’s “masterstroke” to remove the subsidies, LPG now costs a staggering Rs 1050. Gasoline prices face a strange fate in the country, where prices fall before elections and then rise while being controlled by “market forces”. The only thing that has remained stagnant is income, the suffering of the masses and the apathy of the government.
The exercise of the GST by the government was felt as a blow to ordinary people. The last GST rate hike was not against luxury goods, but against the day-to-day essentials of a common family. Items such as curds and paneer, which were previously exempt from GST, will now be subject to a 5% GST charge. Even everyday staples such as wheat, rice, and flour are not GST-free. The hospital rooms that remain as a constant reminder of the failure of the Modi government in the deadly second wave of the pandemic bear the GST. One might wonder what the government intends to raise funds from the commodities that affect the poorest the most, all in the midst of a global supply chain crisis!
The Union Finance Minister is the architect of the disastrous GST exercise. She came with her own justifications. But such a futile exercise will find no escape in India’s economy, which is already on a downward slope. It is true that the Minister of Finance strives with devotion to become the committed interpreter of “Modinomics”. But with all their overtime rhetoric and hard work, the Amritvarsh paints a picture of doom.
Data from all sides depicts this fate. According to the latest NFHS survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 36% of Indian children are stunted (too small for their age), 67% of children suffer from anemia to some degree, and even 57 percent of women and 25 percent of men suffer from anemia. The survey also indicates that 35 out of 1,000 children born in India do not live to celebrate their first birthday. A recent study published by PLOS Global Public Health reports that 70% of Indian districts are failing to meet the maternal mortality ratio target (mothers who die due to pregnancy-related complications) set by the United Nations. The Global Health Index 2021 ranks 101 out of 116 countries, with 25 lakh Indians dying of hunger, with a ‘severe’ classification.
According to the government’s report on the state of inequality, the richest 10% in the country earn only 25,000 rupees a month. One could imagine the state of those on the other side of the table. Added to all this is the decline of the Indian rupee, which reached 80 rupees against the US dollar. The President of the State Bank of India, while admitting that this would cause “short-term suffering”, said: “This (a further fall in the rupee) is necessary, otherwise exports will become absolutely unsustainable. . It is important to maintain parity. This can only be achieved if the rupee is allowed to depreciate further. His words are a wake-up call for the wage earners and the oppressed. Their life is going to be even more miserable. We hear the government telling India to learn from Sri Lanka’s neighbours. It is true that there are lessons for India to learn from Sri Lanka, not for the people but for the government. It is important for the government to learn that divisive politics can give temporary electoral relief, but only real development with pro-people policies can save any nation from disaster. (API Service)