The UPA’s neo-aam aadmi: The poor Ambanis, the Tatas…

The poor and the peasants must be taxed heavily so that our big businessmen become even more richer

Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

We always knew corporates had more say in governance than the “aam admi” or the common man: Especially, how they manipulated government and media, mostly using the latter to get across their viewpoints, to make sure a good deal for themselves. (I am being very, very kind by saying “good deal”.)

The “mainstream media” has cheered on the government with the backing of big business since most of big newspapers and satellite television are given millions of rupees as advertisements if not having outright ownership — directly or indirectly — in them.
But once in a while, sections of the media let out some secrets, whether inadvertently or not remains a moot question, which come as shocking.

The media is also hand-in-glove with the government when it comes to hiding inconvenient truths, so that a photo-perfect image of “India Shining” does not loses its sheen.

Coming to the point, an article in The Hindu written by P. Sainath, who at the moment appears to be the lone crusader determined to expose the “dirty India”, shows how the big business have got their way in successive budgets presented by the present United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

What is mind boggling is that this government has no qualms in writing of billions of rupees for these corporates while burdening the common man with back-breaking taxes.

Writes Sainath: “In six years from 2005-06, the Government of India wrote off corporate income tax worth Rs.3,74,937 crore — more than twice the 2G fraud — in successive Union budgets.”

Every year, the write-off — or rip-off — continues to increase and this year was no different. The only difference, if any, is the amount written off continues to be increased, even as the corporates benefit from host of other doles.

Take for example, this year’s budget presented by fossil Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, corporate income tax written off was Rs 88,263 crore, an astonishing increase of 155 per cent over an amount of Rs 34,618 crores written off in 2005-06!

That is, writes Sainath, “the nation presently writes off over Rs.240 crore a day on average in corporate income tax”.

Sainath’s next statement is also amazing: “Oddly, that is also the daily average of illicit fund flows from India to foreign banks, according to a report of the Washington-based think tank, Global Financial Integrity”.

While this utterly shameless and totally corrupt government has no qualms while writing off the tax for the corporates, Sainath discloses that thousands of crores from agriculture have been slashed off.

And it is not just corporate income tax that is written off.

The big business also benefits from what Sainath describes as “coroporate karza mafi”. This UPA government has also foregone stunning amounts of revenue in customs and excise duty to largely benefit the corporate world and better off sections of society.

Just one head of foregone revenue in customs duty is on diamonds and gold (“Not quite aam aadmi or aurat items,” says Sainath) amounting to Rs 48,798 crore, or “well over half of what it takes to run a universal PDS system each year”.

In three years preceding this one, the customs write-off on gold, diamonds and jewellery totalled Rs 95,675 crore.

Of course, I agree with Sainath when he says tongue-in-cheek, “every plunder of public money for private profit is a pro-poor measure”. Because all this is done in the name of and for the benefit of the “aam admi”.

For Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, who preside over an empire that is disgustingly corrupt, the definition of “aam admi” has been the corporate and the rich. After all, they have every right to become filthily richer, no?

As I said in an earlier article, the recent budget presented by Mukherjee has nothing in it to cheer the “aam admi”, but ample for the Ambanis, the Tatas, et al, because they are the neo-aam admi.

To show their concern for the media-mesmerised “middle class”, Mukherjee raised the IT ceiling by Rs 20,000. But what is this amount? This is like putting an old out of circulation, unusable coin in a beggar’s bowl, because the deathly inflation has already severely squeezed out the pockets of these people.

And for the poor, they are just timid, and tamed, cattle. Just dried grass will do. There is no one who will talk about the scum of the earth, they are just cannon fodder to be used during election time.

And, this is just one part of the story. The loot and rape of the nation goes on unabashedly. The masses have been mesmerised by the media with stories of glamour and glitter, sex and liquor, but more about it in another piece.

What is now unsaid in this piece is how billions black money keeps continuing to flow into foreign banks. Unequivocally, I say that Manmohan Singh — who I consider a dishonest person — is more interested in keeping his chair (and he has openly admitted to it) than doing any really good for this country.

In fact, he seems to be ever more keen to protect zealously the corporate and the corrupt. May God save us from this prime minister, the worst India has ever seen.

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