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Subsidies: A Bottomless Bucket

K.S. Ramachandran (Author)
Synopsis Taking off from a study of three major explicit subsidies – Food, Fertilzer and Petroleum, prepared at the Behest of the Twelfth Finance Commission, this book seeks subsidies – those that are budgeted for and those that are outside the budgeted for and Centre and States. It underlines the damage done to efficiency through subsidies, which once given are rarely removed. The book warns against perpetually identifying subsidies with efforts towards poverty alleviation and castigates the classification between merit and non-merit pay outs. The underlying theme is that there should be a commercial basis for any economic activity and that every outlay must bear a commercial return. On foodgrains, the recommendations are tough; an end to public procurement operations and the mechanism of minimum support price as well as restricting the ambit of public distribution system to the poorest of the poor – the 2 crore population targeted by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana. For fertilizer, the prescription is that the price should be wholly market-determined as mooted by the Expenditure Reforms Commission. On petrogoods, while LPG prices should reflect only those ruling in the global market, access to PDS kerosene should be limited to the intended beneficiaries of the Antyodaya Anna Scheme. An agenda is set for doing away with implicit subsidies through a mix of commercial pricing and a thrust on enhanced efficiency irrigation facilities created through public investment must earn a commercial return on par with what farmers pay for private supplies. The same rule should apply to electricity available through public utilities.
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About the author

K.S. Ramachandran

Kattalai S. Ramachandran (b. 1926) graduated from the University of Madras in History and Economics in 1947. Soon after, he joined the Archaeological Survey of India associating himself with the explorations and excavations aspects of the Survey. For more than a quarter of a century Ramachandran has participated in almost all the major excavations conducted by the Survey viz. Sisupalgarh, Sanur, Ujjain, Lothal, Kalibangan, Purana Qila, etc., and has specialized in the Iron Age, particularly of Tamil Nadu. He has also developed a lasting interest in art and iconography. Ranachandran has contributed more than four-score research papers of lasting interest to various journals, besides editing more trhan half a dozen books. His other books are: A Bibliography on Indian Megaliths; Radiocarbon Dates of Archaeological sites in India; A Bibliography of Harappan cultures of India and The Neolithic cultures-an annotated bibliography.

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Bibliographic information

Title Subsidies: A Bottomless Bucket
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8172111894
length xvii+122p., Tables; Index; 23cm.