More than 10 million citizens gave up their claims over cooking gas subsidy since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal at Urja Sangam conclave on March 27 last year. It is reported that 97% of them belong to middle class or lower class. About 50% of them belong to Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Most of them are teachers, government employees, bank executives and retired people. They have limited means and they get rattled by even a Re 1 per unit hike in food prices like milk, egg or vegetables. Why did they give up more than Rs 1,200 per year subsidy? Because the decision was not forced on them. This should be the lesson for policy makers. Success of any policy decision lies on its acceptance by the people. Forced odd-even is as unacceptable as excise duty on jewellers. Build consensus for effective governance. After all, the government represents the people.
(Also published in Hindi @ Amar Ujala, Apr 25, 2016, p. 11. http://epaper.amarujala.com/vc/20160425/11.html?format=img)