The Congress party Elections Manifesto 2009, in writing, promises to increase the number of days for which work will be offered under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as also the daily wage rate. As if this is not enough the party goes ahead to offer literally "free lunches" in community kitchens for a certain class of people. And it then promises to make available 25 kg of foodgrains at Rs 3 per kilogram!
Apart from being an inducement to influence the voters, this promise contains a threat to the foodgrains producers that their produce will be procured at artificially depressed prices. Artificially depressed prices over decades have resulted in mass suicides by farmers. This offer was repeated by no less a person than Ms Sonia Gandhi herself in an electoral speech in Karnataka.
In a meeting that he addressed in Wardha, in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi maintained that his party was essentially for the poor and that as long as one poor man remains in the country, he himself, Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh would be there to address his concerns.
Indian politicians have no incentive to see the poor come out of poverty, no incentive, absolutely none!
There is an old adage that goes against giving alms to the beggars; "Give him rather the implements with which to work and earn his bread."
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme condemns millions of people to a life of manual labour, digging pits and filling them, rather than starting an enterprise. Such mindless labour can actually be poverty creating rather than poverty eradicating.[Via]