CASSAM TUPSY

It seems that our politicians have become over generous overnight by turning themselves into Santa Claus with their basket full of alluring toys to be lavishly distributed to the voters and population at large. A gimmick already demonstrated in the past by different political parties seems to be less enticing because people are used to such offers during the electoral campaign. This game is synonymous with the Law of Diminishing returns and has lost its vigour because “no news is good news”.
It is to note that these social grants, once vouchsafed become definitely an “acquis” for the population and beware to the one who wants to remove them one day. It is an indubitable fact that we are in a period of “vaches maigres” and milking the cow excessively may fare bad for our economy. The population is no doubt witnessing an auction sale where the highest bidders are meeting their self-satisfaction, “for gagn for”.
We have learnt from some economists that the increase in pension may cost the state a sum of Rs 40 billion. Disregarding this warning, the bidding is still being pushed higher and higher. Since the year 2015 our national budget is showing a deficit of Rs 16 billion and is continuing to rise. Public debt has reached the floor of Rs 375 billion and in this context each newborn is already entangled with a debt of three hundred thousand Rupees.
Many jobs are being axed due to closure of several manufacturing industries. The receipt from tourism is diminishing because there is stagnation in this industry. The good news for minimum wage is lucrative for the workers but it is better to have a sustainable job with less pay than to have high salary in the short term and become jobless in the long term. It is a common fact that graduates are willing to work at lowest salary just to get a job.
A mudslinging electoral campaign is being launched thereby letting many cats out the bag. In the course of this campaign our society has been transformed into a school for scandal. So many Gates are being wide opened that we people are left like passive spectators and waiting for what next. It is sad to note that for many scandals commission of enquiries had been set up just to keep in the drawer.
If the programs of all the big political parties are anything to go by, it looks like emphasis on the empowerment and development of our youth is weak. The jobless youngsters need a pocket money in order to meet their essential needs. Let our youth become less dependent on their elders. An “allocation chômage” granted to them until they get a permanent job is not a bad idea.
However, to meet all the welfare expenditure a source of revenue is to be sought. After the elections all the promises under false pretences will vanish away. A hike in the prices of basic commodities will be definitely inevitable. Those with fixed salaries will manage somehow but the self employed people without compensation and end of year bonus will find enormous difficulties to meet both ends.
Henceforth, we are in a circus where each player exerts to perform with great dexterity. The one who fails in his performance will surely exacerbate the situation. In all these circumstances a pertinent question arises in my mind “Are our votes on sale”?