A few months ago, the national capital witnessed the launch of a campaign with the intention of persuading well-off households to voluntarily give up the benefits provided under the Delhi government’s electricity subsidy scheme. As consumers now have to opt-in for availing of the power subsidy, an element of self-selection has been introduced in the scheme that has been derisively dubbed by many as a “revdi”. Be that as it may, this recent campaign sheds light on the intractable problem of subsidies in India. Under the AAP government’s electricity subsidy scheme, households are classified into two categories — those consuming up to 200 units per month are provided electricity free of cost, while those using between 200-400 units are provided with a subsidy of up to Rs 800 per month. Express View | The freebie game in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Now, Delhi has around 57 lakh domestic electricity consumers. In 2021-22, a staggering 46.8 lakh of them had availed of the … [Read more...] about What Delhi’s power subsidy reveals about India’s revdi culture
Subsidies by government of india
East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir said claims of subsidy by the Delhi government are an eyewash as it comes from taxes paid by the people. “In the past eight years, people of Delhi have just been at the receiving end of propaganda and hogwash” the BJP leader said. Gambhir said that out of 58 lakh households consuming electricity in Delhi, only half (around 30 lakh) use less than 200 units – the limit till which power distribution companies do not charge them directly. Another 16 lakh avail subsidy up to Rs 800. Therefore, 11 lakh households in Delhi have to pay for electricity at Rs 10 per unit, he pointed out. The former cricketer said private electricity companies collect around Rs 20,000 crore every year. “Out of this, Rs 16,000 crore is paid directly by the people of Delhi against their bills. The remaining Rs 4,000 crore is paid by the Delhi government as subsidy. Money for this subsidy also comes from the taxes paid by the people. So where are the savings of the public … [Read more...] about Delhi government’s claims of subsidy an eyewash, says MP Gambhir
Children often declare a game over when they happen to be on a winning streak, just to be able to claim victory. That seems to be what Surjit Bhalla is trying to do in a recent article, co-authored with Karan Bhasin (IE, November 4, ‘ Poverty is down, period ‘). In that article, the authors (B&B) make startling claims of runaway poverty decline under the Narendra Modi government, and proceed to state without false modesty that this “unambiguous and strong conclusion” allows them to “close this debate”. Problem is, their figures are very misleading. B&B’s central claim is that poverty decline accelerated under Modi across the full range of 10 deprivations used in the calculation of “multidimensional poverty” (MP). The claim is based on a set of figures presented by B&B as deprivation-specific “headcount ratios” (HCRs) — the percentage of deprived persons in the population. The deprivations of interest are those commonly used in MP calculations, and relate to three … [Read more...] about Recent claims of spectacular poverty decline under the Modi government miss the plot
India’s economic growth slowed to 6.5 per cent during the July-September quarter because of a fading low-base effect. For the full year, we now expect the economy to grow at 7 per cent, with risks tilted to the downside. This implies that the second half of the year (October-March) will see growth slow down to 4.6 per cent, again largely due to the base effect and slowing global growth. This was the second consecutive quarter with no functional disruption of economic activity by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since October, Google, too, has stopped reporting mobility indicators, which had become one of the most tracked data points for analysts and policymakers since the pandemic struck. This suggests that Covid-19 is unlikely to come in the way of growth for most parts of the world, with China, which is following a zero-Covid policy, being the key exception. That’s the good news. Express View | New government data paints a mixed picture of the Indian economy The … [Read more...] about How can India make a soft landing amid global economic crash?
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released India’s economic growth data for the second quarter of the current financial year (2022-23 or FY23). The second quarter or Q2 refers to the months of July, August and September. India’s gross domestic product or GDP grew by 6.3 per cent in Q2 on a year-on-year basis. In other words, it was 6.3% more than the GDP in the same months in 2021. MoSPI also reported that India’s Gross Value Added (or GVA) in Q2 grew by. 5.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Express View | New government data paints a mixed picture of the Indian economy What do GDP and GVA mean? GDP and GVA are the two main ways to ascertain the country’s economic performance. Both are measures of national income. The GDP measures the monetary measure of all “final” goods and services— those that are bought by the final user— produced in a country in a given period. Subscriber Only Stories View All UPSC … [Read more...] about How to read Q2 GDP data
An 87-year-old woman sits on her balcony under the November sun, her old Nokia Candybar phone by her side, reading a newspaper. A few government employees arrive at her home and hurry her down. Her son is away; she is all alone. They throw some words like “prepaid”, “smart-meter”, and “app” at her. All she takes away is that these people are threatening to take away her electricity meter and cut off her power supply. That’s exactly what ends up happening, according to her son. She is briefly able to convince them to wait till her son is back. They come back the next day. Also in Express Opinion | What Delhi’s power subsidy reveals about India’s revdi culture “They told me, this is happening. I said no, at least give me some time, some official notice period, and they said they had come with the notice and the time spent discussing it was the notice period,” her son says. The men take away the old meter. The house is left in the dark; his mother is confused, scrambling … [Read more...] about Left in the dark: A story from a Patna locality about the digitisation fetish and smart electricity meters