Friday, September 11, 2009
Austerity - Indian style
Digest this. A couple of Indian Central Govt. Ministers, whose personal wealth run into crores, have been asked to stop spending their own money on accommodation, and
waste spend the taxpayers' instead.
And I thought you had to spend your way out of the recession? Your own money, not the taxpayers'. Those who can, should be allowed to spend on their wants. This keeps money circulating in the economy.
So what is the new plan? Shun 5-star hotels and run them out of business? And then maybe airlines as well, by sticking to trains? Ministers have already been asked to use Economy Class when flying. Some have objected to this. Sharad Pawar claims that he doesn't fit into an Economy seat. Other ministers such as Farooq Abdulla have also stated their dislike for the cattle class. Pranab Mukherjee has been lambasted for publicly "advising" his colleagues to cut spending. And funnily he himself doesn't seem to be observing this in his planned jaunt to Cyprus
Of course, being economical when it comes to government expenditure is quite welcome. Apparently a lot of policemen have already been relieved from useless security cover duties. But asking all govt officials to use Air India is clearly not saving the taxpayers anything. Air India should be sold off, and the likes of Kingfisher & Jet allowed to fill its space.