My take on #GiveItUp (LPG Vs Parliament Canteen Subsidy Debate)


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Government is asking citizens, those who can afford, to give up LPG subsidy voluntarily. Why? In 2013-2014, government spent nearly Rs. 40,000 Crores on LPG subsidy. Even if a small percentage of population gives up subsidy, it would result in considerable savings to the exchequer. And that would not only help reduce the fiscal deficit of our country but more importantly, will help the people in lower income category get cooking gas at subsidised rates.

I am sure most of you would agree that as responsible citizens, it’s our duty to contribute to nation building in whatever way we can. If this report is to be believed, as many as 1 million people have already given up LPG subsidy as on 10th of July, 2015 which would help government save Rs. 140 Crores. Still a long way to go but good to see people joining the bandwagon for this noble cause and hopefully the number would keep going up steadily.

So far so good. And then one fine day, social networks are full of messages asking why should we give up subsidy when our MP’s are getting huge subsidies on their meals in parliament canteen? A valid argument. But should we, as responsible citizens, use it as an excuse to not do something which we should?

There are numerous posts/tweets floating around with messages like – I’ll give up my LPG subsidy after MP’s have given up their subsidy. I received a petition as well for the same. And I happen to read a post with a title – Why I won’t give up my LPG subsidy? Well, there is nothing wrong in asking our MP’s to give up their subsidy but using that as an excuse for not doing our part is just plain wrong.

This remind me of news channel debates (like News Hour), where one can find political parties shouting, err .. debating, on various things. What typically happens in such debates is this – party A accuses party B of something and asks for explanation. Instead of giving explanation, B brings up something similar which A did. Eventually, most such debates end up without any positive outcome as the key point is lost in all the shouting and accusations.

Aren’t we doing the same by saying – first let MP’s give up their canteen & LPG subsidy and then we’ll give up ours. But why? Just because someone else isn’t following traffic signal does not mean we too shouldn’t. What others do it their karma but we should stick with ours. In any case, not all the MP’s may give up their subsidy just like not every citizen who can afford to give up LPG subsidy will actually give it up. After all, MP’s are also people like us, they did not drop from the sky. But it’s good to see that some MP’s have come forward and pushing for end of subsidy in parliament canteen.

Let’s not point fingers because it wouldn’t serve any purpose. We all talk about issues and corruption everywhere but until we are ready to change ourselves, nothing ever is going to change. Choice is ours. Either we can keep looking for excuses or we can actually do what is right and inspire others to do the same.

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