MJ Akbar’s take on the budget
MJ Akbar is one of the few columnists I look forward to reading every week. He is a true intellectual because he is not afraid of pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. See my earlier post on him MJ Akbar gets is right on Sachar
Recently, I found he has a blog. I cant tell if it is ghost written (by a certain Ilaxi who claims to be the “Official Blogger for MJ Akbar”). Anyway, I look forward to this blog.
Read his most recent column “The 2.5% rate of growth” where he takes apart the so-called Muslim appeasement policy of the UPA.
Not to worry, my friends: all this talk about helping Muslims was only lip service. When the time came to deliver in the budget, the Prime Minister had nothing to offer. We’ve seen the pattern before; Dr Singh’s government has repeated it. Other deprived sections like the Dalits and Backwards get concrete benefits; Indian minorities get enquiry commissions.
Source : Khaleej Times Online
Then he gets into facts and figures,
The so-called Muslim appeasement is a mere – hold your breath – 108 crores ! Recently, a land deal in Mumbai for a couple of acres was worth 200 crore.
The next paragraph notes that there are a number of districts with a concentration of minorities, but does not specify how many, for that might be both revealing and embarrassing. What is the provision? Rs108 crore. It is so small the money may not be visible by the time it reaches the district headquarters. Add to this scholarships worth Rs210.60 crore for all “minority communities.
. . .
For a comparison, read paragraph 33: the allocation for schemes benefiting only Scheduled Castes and Tribes is Rs 3,271 crore, and for schemes in which they will get at least 20% benefit, the sum is Rs 17,691 crore. In addition there are scholarships worth Rs 790 crore for the children of these communities
This time however he stopped short of mentioning the OBCs allocation. Which – may I remind includes the “creamy layer”. The government has included a 1% cess on all taxes to fund this scheme. As rudimentary as it is – the muslims had data in the form of the Sachar report. The OBCs did not need a commission nor data about backwardness of its component castes. A 20-point program to address OBC backwardness was not acceptable. Only a direct quota at IIT and AIIMS would work for them.
Taxpayers across the board will have to bear the burden of additional cess of one percent that will be used to expand the capacity of educational institutions for implementing the caste-based quota.
Source: India Edu News
6000 crores for OBC quota, everyone gets to pay. No Sachar style reports or other commissions were required. Our FMs life stories are sufficient.
The increased education cess is expected to collect an extra Rs 6000 crore, or about 55 per cent more than what was collected this financial year. It is intended to help raise funds for the additional seats that have to be created in institutes of higher education to implement the 27 per cent reservation of seats for the other backward classes (OBCs).
Source : HT
The keyword is everyone across the board foots the 1% cess. This includes the backward muslims of our favourite Midnapore district, West Bengal, the muslims of Assam, the night soil carriers, the backward classes of Jammu, and any posterboy backward sections you can think of. 100% of Bengal and Assam have to pay the 1% cess for a social policy from which only 6.3% and 17.6% of them are eligible to benefit. (NSSO 61st Round). This cess is imposed on all taxes – not just income tax, so even the poor have to pay this cess on service tax and as an after effect of other indirect taxes.
The beneficiaries of this largesse are likely to be the creamy layer (who are not just above the poverty line but have a minimum per capita of Malaysia living in India). Do they face educational discrimination in the south – when they own most of the educational institutions ?
The poor pay for the rich, the really backward of the east pay for the aspirations of the TN and other southern “backward” castes, the wretched muslims of Midnapore pay for the muslims of Malabar and TN, the illiterate pay for the literate.
Social justice or poetic justice ? You decide.