GOVERNMENT RECEIPTS & DEMOCRATIC EXPENDITURE

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GOVERNMENT RECEIPTS & DEMOCRATIC EXPENDITURE

The finances in the country dance to the tunes of democracy. And the tunes of democracy are of the party in power, at the centre and in the states. It goes to the democratic to the grassroots panchayti institutions. To top it all we have the
urban local self-governments, the harbingers of urban misery in the country, expenditure notwithstanding. The recent example has been the inundation of the IT areas of the famed India’s IT capital. The north star of government receipts is known, what is also known that there is no north star of democratic expenditure.

The general underlying threat to democratic finances seems to be from a conspicuous lack of high-end finance professionals to manage the requirements end to end, at all levels, in a purely objective and empirical manner. The democratic system does not allow for that. Finances are at the core of any functioning more so of a democratic ecosystem where delivery is totally depended on it. The beauty of the finance expenditure ecosystem as it stands, is the scrupulous nature of the receipts and the whims and fancies nature of the expenditure. The nature of tax / revenue collection, the strict regimen, penalties, harsh / uncompromising procedures, cases, compliance, discrepancy and what not?

And now integration of data to get the tax / receipt straight and so should it be. But the situation turns haywire as we move on the expenditure side. The powers that be, who decide on the expenditure are mandated through elections to be there. There is a political agenda or manifesto, and that would gain precedence over a strictly financial health enabled futuristic growth agenda with welfare as the most critical component. The poll promises are an open declaration of the lack of financial discipline to ensue, unfortunately, whichever party wins. What are they aware of the state finances before getting into government.

Who decides the expenditure and which manner? How are requirements drawn up but for the method it has be drawn up for ages with the same results. While health of the finances is no one’s concern, everyone wants to corner as much of expenditure to his kitty as he can. That is power. In simple political parlance, it is largesse. The precision of revenue receipts and the total imprecision of revenue expenditure is the Gordian knot of Indian democracy. God knows which great democratic leader would cut this Gordian knot, paving the true path of democracy; the financial one. That apart, even the physical execution of the expenditure keeps moving in circles, to advantage all, but for the purpose and the person for whom it is meant, in the most beneficial manner.

IT WOULD STILL TAKE A LONG TIME TO FIND AND THEN FOLLOW THE NORTH STAR OF DEMOCRATIC EXPENDITURE.
Sanjay Sahay

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