BUDGET MUSINGS, 2020
1. In Part 1 of my post made on 04.01.2020, I had talked about a ” Revenue Deficit” of Rs. 4.85,019 crs, budgeted for FY 20 in the full fledged budget presented by our FM on 05.07.2019.
1.1. I had also raised the question – ” are we living beyond our means”?
2. WE ARE NOSTALGIC ABOUT WHITE ELEPHANT LEGACIES!
2.1. I am talking about our Postal Department, boasted to be the ” world’s largest”!
3. Created by the British Viceroy Delhousie in 1854, who does not know that this Dept, adored in the pre-internet era has ended up as an overweight white elephant long back in the internet era?
4. LOOK AT ITS COSTS Vs REVENUES
4.1. This Colossus of a Department under the Ministry of Communications , traded as ” India Post” employs a huge army of 4.33 lakh people!
4.2. There are 1.56 lakh post offices in our country against only 1.14 lakh bank branches!
4.3. Its cost to deliver a post card comes to Rs. 12.15 while it recovers only 50 PAISE for a card delivery!
4.4. It incurs a cost of Rs. 89.23 to deliver a parcel while it recovers only 50% of this cost!
4.5. Its total revenue in 2015-16 was Rs. 12,939.79 crs while its total expenses stood at Rs. 18, 947.97 crs, thus incurring a huge loss of Rs. 6007.18 crs, funded from the taxes that you and me pay!
4.6. Wait, for the FY 19, this white elephant saddled the economy with the highest loss of Rs. 15,000 crs, overtaking even the Air India and BSNL put together!
6. WHERE LIES THE SALVATION?
6.1. Even a vegetable push cart vendor on the street will scream–CLOSE IT, NOW!
6. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE “SERVICE “( the NSC , posts , NREGA payments etc) in its portfolio WHICH CANNOT BE RENDERED BY PRIVATE COURIERS & BANKS ,CHEAPER!
6.1. In this digital era , where half of our population has smart phones and internet connections, this Dept sticks out as a HUGE ANACHRONISM MOCKING AT THE PEOPLE!
7. When was the last time we sent a post card or letter over post?
7.1. Even the High Court and Supreme Court Orders are hosted on their web sites and conveyed over e mail to the litigants.
7.2. The entire communication of the IT & the GST Departments are carried out DIGITALLY!
8. WILL OUR FM BE KIND ENOUGH TO SING THE REQUIEM OF THIS ” ONCE UPON A TIME ICON” (when our grand parents used to eagerly wait for the ubiquitous Post Man to receive a post card or ‘ money order’) ?
9. The matter cannot get more serious than this WHEN THE ACTUAL FISCAL DEFICIT FOR FY 20 HAS EXCEEDED THE BUDGET FOR THE WHOLE YEAR BY 30.11.2019 ITSELF !
9.1. The fiscal deficit, budgeted at 3.3% of our GDP for FY 20 , at Rs. 6.24 lakh crs stood at Rs. 6.48 lakh crs as on 30.11.2019, with four more months to go by in this financial year!