Britain is in a dilemma with regard to finding a solution to reduce the fiscal deficit (Business Line, August 23). This has valuable lessons for India. All said, England is an advanced economy while India is not. If public finance ‘deteriorates’, things could only get worse. The Government can afford to think of a cut in taxes to promote growth (though Keynesian economists such as Paul Krugman would be extremely critical of such moves).
But in India, only moves relating to subsidies, austerity measures, avoidance of wastage of public money, and increase in public revenues other than by taxation measures would help in achieving some sort of a balance between income and expenditure.
One more strike by the bank employees. No doubt, the Government will unconditionally yield to their demands, lest the unions hold the public and the government to ransom, with absolute impunity.
It is not amusing to observe that in India the overpaid and underworked keep on demanding more and more, and go on frequent strikes, if their unfair and unreasonable demands are not met.
Why should this bullying be allowed? Why is the Government so weak-kneed, knowing fully well that such strikes cause extreme inconvenience to crores of people?
Why cannot action under the Essential Services Maintenance Act be initiated against the employees?
The huge workforce of the Railways went on strike in May 1974. But the strike had to be called off after 20 days, because the Government used its iron hand to suppress it.