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Mission Jai Hind, and why some of its key points are a bad idea for India

In episode 478 of #CutTheClutter, Shekhar Gupta analyses the seven-point agenda liberal economists have put together as a roadmap to recover from the Covid crisis.

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New Delhi: Twenty-two eminent, and mostly Left-leaning, economists of the country have made a seven-point action plan to deal with the economic impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown.

They called it Mission Jai Hind. Here’s what the mission states.

The first idea is to bring back migrant workers to their native places. This seems to be a good idea as many of them want to go back.

The second point asks for safety of frontline worker, which is also good.

The third point calls for providing basic ration to all ration card holders for six months through the public distribution system (PDS). The intention behind this idea is good, but direct cash transfer can work much better than PDS. People should be given the choice of what they want to eat.

The fourth point asks for 200 days of guaranteed work for everyone.

Then the more contentious ideas come up.

The fifth point asks for income support and compensation for people who have lost their jobs. This is something no government can afford.

Six, it suggests no interest payments be collected on any loans till the economy revives. If this is implemented, the banking sector will collapse and the economy will never revive.

The most troublesome one, point seven, says the central government must explore emergency measures to raise resources. The liberals complain about the Narendra Modi government having too much power in the Covid-19 crisis, but they want to give him even more power now.

What a bad idea looks like

Time and time again, history has reminded us that such ideas are destructive. It must not be implemented. This country has seen a 97.5 per cent tax during Indira Gandhi’s era, and we have seen what it did to the economy.

A similar idea was mooted by Indian Revenue Officers in April, in which they suggested a super rich tax and a Covid-19 cess. Thankfully, it was struck down by the Modi government. But we must not underestimate the power of a bad idea.

Watch the full episode here:


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  1. Direct cash transfer does not work better than am efficient PDS. If there are no hunger deaths in Tamilnadu, its because the state put its faith in giving the stuff rather than the money. Imagine, govt giving money instead of rice to a poor household instead of rice. Do you think the house lady would get access to the money or the guy would spend it on drinking? And imgine giving money instead of giving cycle to the girl student. Do you think she would ever get the cycle? Many seem to be safely away from the reality in India. And scarily, some of those who make schemes at national level also seem to be joining this bandwagon!

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