Pappu and his wifeLalli were sitting and working out as to what best can they do with just matured FDs they had booked four yrs ago. Pappu had just retired. Lalli was , naturally ,very concerned on the present state of affairs and had a practical discussions with Pappu.She sounded not very pessimistic,slightly optimistic and hopeful that one day they will be able to live within their means,feel secure, beat inflation..... kind of feel good factor.Some of the points /issues Lalli raised with Pappu were quite valid and one point lead to another(all points had something to do with day-day living).
Since I was a witness to their discussions,I will try and write them down.
Assembly elections are on.Lalli watched one TV channel conducting interviews of the prospective CMs and that too,while they were having good hearty breakfast.What surprised Lalli was ,despite inflation,those fellows could afford..Juice,Sprouts,Eggs with bit of bread and butter.How? Did'nt these people promise us all this?These people wear very simple clothes,talk of socialism,people friendly policies.We are fighting, inflatioin,uncertainity everywhere,fear factor...still ca'nt even think of the kind of breakfast one prospective CM was having(must be having a good dietician on his pay roll)
Lalli was wondering,when common man can not be provided with basic aminity of drinking water,how can the Govt allow MNCs to draw underground water at practically no cost and sell it after branding at Rs 14/ltr .Lalli was wondering as to why can't the Govt draw the same water and provide it to people who are actually dying due to lack of potable water supply and that is what they had actually promised in their manifesto. Didn't they? Govt can actually levy a surcharge on bottled water at,say,50% .Those who drink bottled water can afford to pay Rs 20/ltr.Surchage revenue can build at least one AIIMS every month(estimated cost Rs 500 crs) and perhaps the spillover amount can be used to provide drinking water to the needy.Lalli thinks even at present rate of interest at 11% she can't afford bottled water for her family. In certain parts in Delhi,boring is prohibited and Govt can't give supplies.So what does one do?Irony of fate is that Chairperson of Delhi Jal Board is noone else but the CM herself.Every election manifesto promises drinking water to the citzens.Lalli and Pappu felt water should have been equally divided amongst the citizens instead of giving it to VIPs only(they can actually afford bottled water).
Pappu and Lalli understand Mehngai, Govt talks infation figures in numbers.Lalli wanted know from Pappu as to what does the Govt mean when they say 11.43% inflation?Pappu told her not only does he not know,he challenged that more than 90% ( including certain ministers) people don't know as to how does the Govt arrive at these most unconvincing figures and are convinced that people are convinced(sic)In fact those who understand this are most uneffected and those who are most effected dont understand.For the last about 6months,Govt has been blaming the Oil prices for all the ills in the country.Because oil was at over$140,we were suffering inflation.In corporate culture, there is a famous saying "you should always have someone to blame"and it seems this has been taken seriously.Oil, though,has come down to below $60,the prices of all wage goods are still sky rocketing.Lalli had a valid question to Pappu....why inflation does'nt hurt the VIPs? Well, most of us also wonder...why?One minister's wife had said sometime back that their family is fond of good food and they take their servant with them when they travel abroad on holidays..In a recent interview to a TV channel ,Mr Kapil Sibal had said"Govt ca'nt be run on public perception" Well said
to be continued in part 2...b k chowla