Will ~6,000 clear dif­fer­ence in ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas?

Business Standard - - DEMOCRACY AT WORK - HD DEVE GOWDA

Va­j­payee gov­ern­ment was gone in 13 days. Who asked him to go and take the oath? Can you an­swer that? He was one of the tallest lead­ers. He had suf­fered in those 13 days. Why do you un­nec­es­sar­ily try to pro­voke me? I was not anx­ious to be­come the Prime Min­is­ter. The sit­u­a­tion was such. Af­ter the fall of Va­j­payee gov­ern­ment all sec­u­lar lead­ers met. That dis­cus­sion went on for one week. VP Singh’s name was men­tioned. He de­clined. Jy­oti Basu was the tallest leader. He agreed, but his party Polit­buro dif­fered. Then, he men­tioned my name. I did not want to ac­cept it. It went on for two days. I know the dif­fi­culty of run­ning a coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

Delhi Metro was kept in cold stor­age for 10 years. We in­tro­duced the Pub­lic Dis­tri­bu­tion Sys­tem. 36 crore peo­ple be­low poverty line got 10kg rice at ~3 and 5kg wheat at ~2. Re­spected Speaker, I have ear­lier told about the hu­mil­i­a­tion I suf­fered. ~3 was the rate of kerosene oil. No­body ob­jected. How to find re­sources? The is­sue was that World Bank Pres­i­dent, Wolfen­sohn came to In­dia. I hosted him a din­ner. He asked me that you have vi­o­lated all the con­di­tions of the IMF and the World Bank. You can­not get any fur­ther as­sis­tance from the World Bank. Then, I took a de­ci­sion that when the black money is there why we should go to the World Bank. I pro­posed two pro­grams. One was Vol­un­tary Dis­clo­sure of In­come Scheme.

What­ever may be the prob­lem to­day, I must com­pli­ment my col­league P Chi­dambaram. Let me be very frank. He said he would not do it; Indira Gandhi took this de­ci­sion and there was no achieve­ment; there was no progress; even Mo­rarji De­sai had to take a de­ci­sion. There was no pos­i­tive re­sponse. The ac­tual tax payer blamed the gov­ern­ment. He said he did not want to take such a blame. Then, how to gen­er­ate the money? When I took charge, ~17,800 crore was the oil pool ac­count deficit. I wanted to make up that. I come from a poor fam­ily, farm­ing fam­ily. I know the dif­fi­culty. How to gen­er­ate the re­sources? This is a big dis­pute. I did not want to go for any fund­ing from out­side. So, this Vol­un­tary Dis­clo­sure of In­come Scheme was pro­posed.

An­other scheme I pro­posed was that the black money should come for the na­tion build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. There should be vol­un­tary build­ing with the black money from those peo­ple who come for­ward to build the high­ways, tourism ac­tiv­i­ties, in­vest­ment and in­fras­truc­ture. It should come from our own In­di­ans who have got broad minds. The only thing was that Jy­oti Basu was ag­grieved. He said that we should first an­nounce the Vol­un­tary Dis­clo­sure of In­come Scheme. If it is go­ing to be use­ful then we would think of the next item. We got ~10,800 crores of rev­enue gen­er­ated from the first Vol­un­tary Dis­clo­sure of In­come Scheme. That had been used for the Pub­lic Dis­tri­bu­tion Sys­tem.

I am only say­ing that do not un­nec­es­sar­ily talk about the Ma­ha­gath­band­han, the coali­tion gov­ern­ments. Va­j­pay­eeji started with the coali­tion gov­ern­ment. Ear­lier, there was a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment. Narasimha Raoji also suf­fered. I do not want to go into all those points. Coali­tion gov­ern­ments can also do some­thing if proper un­der­stand­ing is there. No per­son in my gov­ern­ment had any dif­fer­ences, though there may have been dif­fer­ences any­where out­side. We co­op­er­ated so much with each other. Ul­ti­mately, what has hap­pened, it is not an is­sue for me. (You have got your turn too. Now peo­ple are talk­ing that there may be a coali­tion gov­ern­ment again. It is not my ver­sion, but me­dia ver­sion. We are watch­ing all these things. That is why I said that which­ever coali­tion gov­ern­ments were there in the past, they have also done some­thing for the States. Pen­sion for farm­ers and poor peo­ple, erad­i­ca­tion of poverty and all those things are a con­cern of not only the present gov­ern­ment.

Maybe a new In­dia is his dream. I am not go­ing to say all those prom­ises which he has made in the first Pres­i­den­tial speech. I do not want to hurt his feel­ings. I would only say one thing. A full House is not here. We are all com­mit­ted to farm­ing sec­tor, an­nadaata. There is no dif­fer­ence party-wise. I would like to re­it­er­ate what the Fa­ther of the Na­tion, Mahtma Gandhi said: “Re­mem­ber that dark brown starved man bend­ing un­der a scorch­ing sun, scratch­ing a lit­tle plot of land to eke out a liv­ing. Any­thing you do, you do for his ben­e­fit.” You an­nounced ~6000. That is only ~17 per day. Please think over it. How much ben­e­fit are you go­ing to give the in­dus­tri­al­ists?…(In­ter­rup­tions) It is not a ques­tion of telling any names. It is a ques­tion of search­ing our hearts. Has Modi ji gone for elec­tion cam­paign with­out this cor­po­rate money? How much money has been spent? We can also un­der­stand. The peo­ple of this coun­try are not fools; they are well-awak­ened. All this progress may not bring so much of eu­pho­ria. They will take their own de­ci­sion. You are giv­ing Rs. 6000. Te­lan­gana is giv­ing ~10,000. How much is Ma­mata Ban­er­jee giv­ing? There are var­i­ous States. I think even Odisha is pro­vid­ing more than ~10,000. The Prime Min­is­ter an­nounced ~6,000, out of which ~2,000 is in this Fi­nan­cial Year. By that time, elec­tion will be over.…(In­ter­rup­tions) Is it go­ing to clear the dif­fer­ence be­tween the ru­ral and ur­ban sec­tors, be­tween farm­ers and other sec­tors? If it is go­ing to give them at least a cer­tain liv­ing stan­dard, we will be happy.

Do not un­nec­es­sar­ily talk about Ma­ha­gath­band­han. Coali­tion gov­ern­ments can also do some­thing if proper un­der­stand­ing is there. Which­ever coali­tion gov­ern­ments were there in the past, they have also done some­thing for the States. Pen­sion for farm­ers and poor peo­ple, erad­i­ca­tion of poverty are a con­cern of not just the present gov­ern­ment.

Edited ex­cerpts from a speech by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter and MP from Has­san, HD Deve Gowda in the Lok Sabha on the Mo­tion of Thanks to the Pres­i­dent’s Ad­dress, Fe­bru­ary 7

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