Monday, January 19, 2015

Cost of Governance paid by each Punjabi....

Cost of Governance we Pay..

Total earnings Including Central Share in Punjab for the year 2013-14 was Rs 54212.47 Crore. Out of that expenditure on Salaries, Pensions and Interest on debt were Rs 28907.26 Crore, which is 53.32% of the total state's earnings. The present estimated population of Punjab about 2.89 crore, this makes at average Rs 10,000/- per Punjabi is paying annually to the government in the form of direct and indirect taxes as a Cost of Governance. This is highest cost of Governance paid by citizen compared with any other state of Punjab. This is the annual fee which every citizen pays to government in order to get better services like Health, Police, Transportation, Water, Sanitation and Electricity.  Burden of Salary bill which is 53.32% leave almost minimum money with the state government, out of which majority of the chunk goes into Debt repayment and Electricity subsidy (5500 crore).  Heavy cost of governance due to mismanagement left only Rs 700 crore as a budget for all municipal local bodies i.e. for 180 small town and cities within the state. This is not enough money to run a proper sanitation drive and pay electricity bill for a year for all these cities, leave apart street lights, repair of streets, and maintenance of Parks etc.

Right to Service act is a welcoming step in order to assure services to the citizen for which citizen are paying since long.  Now, in order to get these services, we are bound to pay more and with that money state government is hiring the contractual employees in order to save the grace of these white elephant institutes.  This was government part; now let's talk about citizen side and take the example of Education Department.  In a survey we found that 90% of Government School teacher taught their kids in Private school, in which a teacher is getting 1/5th of the salary compared with government teacher and giving better result. Except few, none of the government teacher trusts the ability of the other government teachers in the same community. Fact is they are not delivering for those are paid. We always blame government for not giving us good services, but fact is as a citizen are we discharging out duties honestly.  Take the other example from Police, In Ludhiana district, formally or informally almost 20% of the total district police work for few VVIP's of Ludhiana. The deployment on 100 VVIP is almost double the total manpower deployed by Ludhiana police to manage traffic for entire district. Now, who is at fault, government or "we" as a citizen. Kindly note when you see any stupid VVIP showing high security, don't mind asking them, I am the one who is paying for your showoff and because of you people are getting killed on roads every day.  On similar ground, we can examine all Government institutes like Pollution Control, PWD, and Irrigation etc, who runs on our money and when we approach them for services, citizen are treated badly as if we are their slaves. It is because of government's mismanagement and silence of hopeful citizen.

When government do any strictness or impose new taxes, protest starts, so  In order to cut this heavy cost of governance, In this democratic setup, I feel government left with no choice than following model of Privatization. Blaming government alone won't work. In Simpler words, the salary, which each government employee is getting is our money. Either let's start working together with government by way of ask the accountability of Government servants to make our government institution effective, Inclusive, corruption free and effective else get ready to pay more taxes. 

Navdeep Asija

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