Profits, salaries,wages,prices,money,physical strength

26/09/2012

There seems to be wrong notions about wages, prices, investment, development and related issues among the people,political parties, intelligentsia etc.

Some of the wrong/irrational notions are:

i. that if profit is substantial companies’ management can enhance the salaries of top executives exorbitantly rather than think of reducing the prices of products/services in the coming years.( The government should consider imposing a limit on salaries/perquisites of top executives as in the past)

ii. that if there is profit, the companies should share it with employees by giving bonus to them rather than reduce the prices in the coming years or invest the money to produce and employ more

iii.that there should be universal which means additional employment but there should not be inflation

iv.that procurement prices of cereals,milk, eggs etc.should be increased but consumer prices should remain unchanged.

v.that wages of agricultural labourers should keep increasing but prices of vegetables and fruits should not go up

vi.that workers should not be asked to improve productivity but prices of manufactured goods should come down

vii.that wages of workers,drivers,cleaners, engineers,mechanics, office staff etc. should be increased periodically but the train and bus fares, electricity charges,cleaning charges, etc should not be increased

viii.that charges for any service should not be increased but the quality of service should be enhanced.

ix. that people should have more entertainment, comforts, luxuries etc. but need not put in additional labour.
(People do not think that while money not spent on any occasion can be saved and spent on other occasions but physical strength can not be saved for using on some other occasion. It is therefore necessary that one should work as long as possible when the opportunity comes.)

religious,social leaders,writers etc. talk of virtues of people with money giving charity to poor people,but nobody talks of people who are physically strong and healthy, helping physically weak people.

people talk of short duration of prosperity but they do not talk of shorter duration of physical strength.

money not spent can be invested for development, for creating jobs etc. while physical strength not used, for doing work cannot be put to any other use.

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Reduction of shrinking of agricultural land

26/05/2009

A few decades ago, forest land was converted into agricultural land. In India, unused government land was distributed to the poor people for cultivation. Simultaneously, agricultural land was also being converted for non-agricultural purposes like construction of school, office and commercial buildings, factories etc. There was however, net increase in cultivated land. Of late, forests are not destroyed (in fact afforestation is going on) and the unused government land is limited. On the other hand more agricultural land is being used for buildings, factories, roads, railway lines etc. Agricultural production has been more or less stagnating at around 210 million tones a year for the last few years. Population growth rate has come down but the population is still increasing. Therefore, there is need to limit use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. Some of the ways could be:

  • All Government office buildings should be multi-storied – 8 floors and above.
  • All buildings constructed by the government for distribution/sales to poor People like the Samathuvapurams in Tamilnadu, units of Housing Boards etc should also be multi-storey buildings
  • Government should procure land in public interest only for present use and not for future use also. National Highways Authority of India has acquired much larger area than required on the plea that in future it would be required.
  • For factories etc. also, future expansion requirements should not be taken into account for present acquisition.
  • Burial should be discouraged and cremation should be encouraged
  • Private schools, colleges, hospitals should also be housed in multi-story buildings with safe lifts.
  • Government should extend liberal loans/grants to private persons for converting their single storey buildings into multi-storey buildings

Centre for Chaning vaues in Indian society

22/05/2009

The intellectuals in India are generally very critical about the bureaucracy and the politicians. They have a soft corner for the common people, particularly the poor people. The common/poor people are described as innocent, honest, hardworking, simple and good people. The bureaucracy and politicians are part of the society and if the society is good, the bureaucracy and politicians cannot be bad.

An agricultural worker or a construction worker or any worker in the rural areas is never punctual. He or she finds several excuses to stop work during the day. He usually takes one full day for the work which he could do in 2 or 3 hours. A worker does not work alone. He wants at least one more worker with whom he can talk while working.

If the people in general are like this, how do we expect a government employee to be different from them? Intellectuals talk of corruption in government. How can we eradicate corruption in government when the common people are corrupt? They want money for their votes for any election. They volunteer to bribe to get undue favors.

If the government is to be honest and committed for the betterment of the people, high values should be inculcated the society. Some of the important values to be inculcated could be:

  • Punctuality
  • Commitment to work
  • Taking pleasure in work; shuning laziness
  • Neither giving nor taking bribes
  • Independence – avoiding where possible seeking help or favors from friends or strangers or government
  • Valuing society’s needs more than individual’s
  • Sacrificing more for society than for self
  • Developing a sense of cleanliness – not littering on the streets, keeping public places clean
  • Accountability at all levels, from worker to manager in factories, from Peon to Secretary and Minister in the Government
  • Dignity of labor – not to look down on manual work
  • Respect to the weak, children and women
  • Repayment of debt

There is a pressing need for non-governmental organizations in India which can propagate values in the society.


Indian railways and employment generation

01/05/2009

India is considered to have one of the largest rail networks in the world. However, considering the area as well as the population of the country, as well as the rail line length of the following countries, India’s railway network appears to very low.

Country Area (sq.km) Population (million) Rail length (km)
France      550,000               62                          29,000
Germany  357,000               83                          48,000
Japan       378,000             127                          23,000
India       3,300,000        1,165                         63,000

On area consideration with France, Germany and Japan, India should have rail length of India 174,000, 444,000 and 200,000 km, respectively. On population consideration with these countries, rail length of India should be 550,000, 673,000 and 210,000 km, respectively.

But the length of railways in India is only 63,000 km. There is potential for expanding this to at least 200,000 km which would mean additional length of 137,000km. If such expansion is undertaken, work will be generated for at least 1 year for about 150 million people. This would not only wipe out unemployment but result in labor shortage in India.

In most of the other developing countries also, expansion of roadways and railways would not only eradicate unemployment but will result in massive manpower shortage.


Indian roadways and employment generation

01/05/2009

According to government data, India has about 3.5 million kilometers of unsurfaced (unpaved) and surfaced roads, which is inadequate if India is to be a developed country.

France for an area of 550,000 sq. km (metropolitan France) has road length of about 950,000 km. India for an area of about 3,300,000 sq. km should have about 5.7 million km of roads. If population is taken into consideration, France for a population of about 65 million has 950,000 km roads. India for a population of 1,100 million should have a road length of 16 million km.

Germany for an area of 357,000 sq.km has road length of 656000 km. India, at this rate, should have 5.7 million km of roads. If Germany, with a population of 83 million, has road length of 656000 km, India, with a population of 1,100 million, should have road length of about 8.7 million km.

Japan for an area of 378,000 sq. km has about 1.19 million km long roadways. India, at this rate, should have about 10 million km roads. Japan has a population of 127 million while India has a population of 1,165 million i.e. about 9 times; so India’s roadways should be greater than 10 million km.

Compared to most developed countries, India’s roadways are small. It needs to be expanded to at least 5.5 million km. Further, in India the roadways mostly comprise one or two lanes. So these roadways should be widened to 2 to 4 lanes.

On an average laying of one km of two-lane road would provide work for 100 persons for about a year (direct as well as indirect employment). For the additional 2 million km of roads, employment generation would be 200 million for a year which means, there would be acute shortage of manpower, considering that railways also need to be expanded.


Supplying essential items at subsidised rates

28/04/2009

Note: 1 crore = 10 million

Note: US$ 1 ~ Rs. 50

The government of the Indian state of Kerala has decided to supply rice and wheat at ration shops at the rate of 25kgs per month at Rs.2 a kilo against the present rate of Rs.3 a kilo to 20,00,000 families living below poverty line. The government would incur an additional expenditure of Rs.5 crore per month or Rs.60 crores per year. The benefit to a family is Rs.25 per month. Cannot a person earn additional Rs.25 per month by working? The wage rates are around Rs.150 per day for males and Rs.80 per day for females, i.e. Rs.230 per family of two working people (one male and one female). Instead of giving rice at Rs.2 a kilo, if the government provides jobs for just one additional day in a month, the government need not supply rice at Rs.2 a kilo. They can even price rice at Rs.9 a kilo. The cost of one month’s supply would be Rs.225, the same as the wages for one day.

Now coming to the creation of jobs, it is very easy in India compared to countries like Japan, US and other developed countries. Every village needs at least 5 or 10 public toilets. The unskilled people can be asked to dig pits. Every village is dirty. The unskilled people can be asked to clean the village and wages at Rs.150 for males and Rs.80 for females can be given. Every month, people can be asked to clean the village once in a weak. In every village, the lake can be deepened and cleaned. Roads and streets can be repaired. Such works are sufficient to provide additional one day work for all families below poverty line.

In towns and cities also, a large number of works can be undertaken. One is cleaning of the streets and roads. The other is transporting the garbage. The third is washing the public transport vehicles (at present vehicles are not cleaned as they should be). The potholes in the streets and roads could be closed. The public places like railway stations, bus stations, vegetable and other market places could be washed. The lakes around the towns could be deepened to hold additional water during rainy seasons. Trees can be planted in parks, on the sides of streets and roads wherever possible, watering the same etc. Used water can be recycled and used to water the plants and trees.

Supplying essential items at highly subsidized rates will only make people lazy and the number of people below poverty line cannot be reduced.

This applies to all developing countries in the world.