I happened to read an article about misery tax once again. Misery tax (media has given this name.. not the government itself 🙂 ) is the new tax introduced by Central Government through 2011 Financial budget. Finance Minister Shri. Pranab Mukherjee has to cancel that tax because of the spontaneous protests from a section of people. Dr. Devi Shetty from Bangalore has lead a struggle in front of Karnataka Governor’s House and it has attracted lot of national media attention. Obviously that could be the reason for the change of mind of Pranab Mukerjee who has reverted the tax. It would have added 700 Crore Rupees to the exchequer.
So what was the new tax. Patients of the private hospitals which are having Air Conditioned facilities has to pay an additional 5% tax. So it would have attracted a big difference to the bills of the patients. The middle class and upper middle class segment of the country would have felt the pinch of this new policy. In current scenario the new age hospitals are getting patients from these segments. The rich people started traveling to the foreign countries for the treatment along with our politicians. Still the lower class and lower middle class of the society is going to the government hospitals. The misery is such that, there are no serious efforts taken to clear the problems of the government hospitals with the new tax money. Any way there is no point in thinking about that in the light of its reversal.
But I would like to bring another change in the last central government budget which brought misery to the lives of many, especially for people in some parts of Karnataka. You might have started guessing some sections of people. Yes the sericulture farmers of India are going to suffer by a big tax change. The import duty of the raw silk has been reduced from 30.5% to 5%. The market price before the announcements of budget was Rs. 350 a Kg. Now it is staggering around Rs. 100. Farmers already started suicides. But there are no big names to struggle for them and make the government to revert the change.
There are two sides of a coin. So who is getting benefited out of this change. Yes there are some section of people getting benefited from this change. Weavers. But I don’t know how many individual weavers will be there. We are going to get cocoon from China at a lower rate. I am sure it is going to benefit a few number of corporates who are in the weaving industry. It would be a win-win situation if there could be another tax imposed on this big players and give subsidy to the suffering farmers. Government should organize these farmers and try to understand their problems. It can use its local level machinery effectively and extent its helping hand to save their lives.
There should not be any more Vidarbhas with thousands of mourning widows and deserted kids. If the authorities are not opening their eyes now, they will see a row of reports in the media about such fatal deaths. We the society will become responsible for those deaths in the history.