A recent political propaganda is going viral and drawing glares across the country:
‘Under the ‘Nyay’ scheme, Nyuntam Ayay or Minimum Income of Rs. 6000 per month (Rs. 72000 annually) would be directly credited to the Below-Poverty-Line families resembling 20% of India’s poor families.
Honestly speaking, on the basis of rational interpretation, the above statement does not run parallel with the fundamentals of economics nor does it abide by our Holy Scriptures.
Consider the sacred lines spoken by Supreme God Krishna in the Bhagwad Gita:
“Karmane Vadhikaras te ma phaleshu Kadachana Ma Karma-phala-hetur bhurma te sango stavakarmani”
“Perform your prescribed duties without the expectation of fruits. You have the right to perform your karma and no right on the results. The fruits shall be given by the supreme law of nature only according to your efforts”
It is a universal truth that no fruit has ever come into existence without the application of Karma, in the form of sowing the seed and nurturing it with constancy.
From an economic standpoint, the above analogy aptly applies to the anatomy of ‘Income’.
The term ‘Income’ under common parlance means: Anything that you ‘Earn’ in return for the ‘Efforts’ put by you. Here, ‘efforts’ are your ‘karma’ and what you ‘earn’ is the ‘fruits’.
Moreover, income is the inflow (cash or in kind) earned by the four factors prevalent in the economy:
– Land gives you Rent
– Business gives you Profits
– Service gives you Salary
– Investment gives you Interest
Here, Land, Business, Service, Investment symbolize your ‘Efforts’
And Rent, Profits, Salary, Interest are your ‘Income’ which you earn because of your efforts.
The ‘Nyay’ scheme is an obvious misnomer, a form of free-lunch that will ultimately lead to gross injustice or ‘Anyay’. Consider this simple logic:
A person earns Rs 2,50,000 yearly by doing his Karma. He has four young sons, and he decides to gift ‘minimum income’ of Rs 50,000 each every year, and keeps the remaining. The sons are happy beyond their wildest dreams. Now, they don’t have to put even the basic efforts to earn a penny, for they are already getting Rs 50000 each every single year which is tax free! They spent most of their ‘easy minimum income’ or ‘free lunch’ on leisure. The sons grow up and they have not learned about the significance of hard-work. Even the little efforts they put are half-hearted for they have not faced any scarcity of money. The man, one day, leaves for the heavenly abode and suddenly the inflow of Rs 50,000 stops. The four sons go financially bankrupt; their own ‘leisure-induced’ children are already spoilt, and sadly, the entire generation is in ruins!
The above analogy will become sadly true if the ‘Nyay’ scheme comes into play. Let us have a glance at the adverse economic implications if the scheme is implemented:
– Unchecked Inflation: ‘Unearned gets Spent’ and ‘Earned gets Saved’ is a well accepted proverb on human behavior. Hence, the unearned inflow of Rs 72000 in the hands of millions will naturally hike-up the consumption graph and will have a deteriorating impact on ‘Demand and Supply’. The ‘supply’ of goods or services will not be able meet the acute rise in ‘demand’, eventually causing unrestrained price-rise. The inflationary conditions will adversely burden the middle class and lower class families, and will directly hamper our nation’s GDP growth.
– Unconstitutional: A careful analysis of the all the socio-economic reforms in post-independent India highlights that the intent behind all reforms, schemes, facilities was to assist or support the common men irrespective of their caste, creed or strata, and to foster equality. Any scheme which promises unconditional ‘direct income’ to any segment is downright unconstitutional.
– Spoilt Youth: The saying goes: “A free lunch only upsets our appetite!” Rs 72000 a year is an obvious free lunch, a sort of legalized bribe that will divert our young generation from the path of honesty and hard-work. This will have a seriously degrading impact on our nation which is significantly youth-populated.
– Anti-social: Reforms are intended to provide job and growth opportunities to the youth force, thereby promoting social security and social welfare. Receiving Rs 72000 freely will only encourage anti-social elements in the society. This will further encourage illegal and immoral activities such as gambling, alcohol-consumption, etc., as no target has been given for the utilization of this Rs 72000 free cash.
– No impact on Poverty: Poverty can be eliminated only by enhancing one’s ‘capacity’ or ‘skill’ to earn. You cannot simply make a poor person rich by giving a fixed monthly cash.
– Economic Inequality: The universally recognized ‘principle of unjust enrichment’ states that unfair accumulation of wealth in the hands of few adversely affects the economic growth. Majority public will feel that the taxes they are paying from their hard-earned income is being utilized to freely enrich the 20% poor families. The ‘Nyay’ will lead to ‘unjust enrichment’ and will sadly create economic inequality. This scheme is impractical as this money will not flow to the genuine poor.
The need of the hour
What we need is a ‘support’, a ‘little push’. Had the four sons in the above anecdote received only pocket-money, they would have got the ‘motivation’ or the ‘support’ to work harder and ‘earn’ their own income through their karma.
Let us look behind the intention of the ‘Kisan-Support-Scheme’ which will provide Rs 6000 annually as a ‘support’ to the farmers:
– A Financial Assistance: The real motive under this scheme is to ‘assist’ the farmers and cultivators in buying crop seeds, fertilizers, other inputs, etc. This is a much needed ‘push’ to the agrarian economy which will boost agricultural production. They will eventually earn Rs 72000 or even more from this support of Rs 6000.
– Incremental Incentive: This financial assistance will not be disbursed as a lump-sum; rather, it will be provided in three installments of Rs 2000 each seasonally as an incremental incentive for the efforts put in by the farmers for cultivation.
– Youth-Motivation: This is not a free lunch but rather a motivational incentive that will definitely inspire the youths across the country to take up farming as a lucrative avenue, will boost the agrarian economy and consequently benefit the nations’ GDP growth.
– Constitutional: The scheme rightly captures the letter and spirit of our Constitution of India that says that social reforms in the form of ‘support’ or ‘incentive’ for underprivileged strata will pave the way for equality and justice.
It may be concluded on the basis of rationality that the ‘Nyay Scheme’ is similar to ‘reaping of fruits without sowing of seeds’ that will eventually turn out to be ‘Anyay’ and will not contribute to any justified growth of the economy.
(Author can be reached at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)