Mythili Bhusnurmath: Doling out freebies by states is competitive federalism of the worst kind: Mythili Bhusnurmath

The issue of doling out freebies has resulted in competitive federalism of the worst kind as political parties and state governments are leaving no stone unturned to lure voters during elections that are held frequently, said Mythili Bhusnurmath in an interview with ET Now.

The growing contribution of non-merit subsidiaries, not beneficial for a large section of society, in the GDP is increasing. This means the states are taking these measures at the cost of increasing the fiscal stress.

In a situation where the finances of states are already tumbling owing to Covid-19 pandemic, the freebie subsidiaries are just adding more burden to the deteriorating economy.

The question here is who decides the limit of these subsidiaries? As per Bhusnurmath, “Between states there are some states which tend to offer much more by way of subsidies and some which give less.”

“Unfortunately in India we have not made much use of this, which is a right body where all political parties, all state governments come together to sit down at the common table like in the case of GST Council and arrive at an understanding that we all need to be more responsible,” she added.

However, this process is not one-way. The citizens also play a critical role in freebie politics. The Indian population needs to understand their responsibility and not fall victim to this freebie culture.

“So ultimately until we mature as a democracy and all of us voters whether it is identity politics or the freebie politics I think there is a duty cost and every citizen of India also not to fall victim to this kind of freebie culture. Unfortunately political parties fail so do we as voters,” said Bhusnurmath.

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