Friday, April 07, 2006

Tamil Nadu's Santa Claus & His Mathemagic

In a fit of large heartedness Saint Karunanidhi made the following election promises:

a) Free LPG stoves to all poor families.
b) Quality rice for Rs. 2 per kg for ration card holders.
c) Free colour TV sets to every family.
d) Employment Opportunity to 3 lakh unemployed youth.
e) Assistance of 1000 per month for 6 months for pregnant women.
f) Free power to weavers.
g) Waiver of cooperative loans to farmers.
h) Reservations for minorities.

To help you fathom the magnitude of this gesture, I've done some basic mathematics. I would appreciate if you go through it at leisure...

Google tells me that there are at least 26 lakh families living below poverty line in Tamil Nadu. If one stove were to cost even 500 rupees, the cost of this proposal will be Rs. 130 crores.

PROMISE B: Rice for Rs. 2
Google tells me that there are 1.61 crore ration card holders in Tamil Nadu who will be eligible for this scheme. I gather rice is currently sold at Rs. 3.50 a kilo. Even if you assume it's sold for Rs. 3, Saint Karunanidhi is giving a subsidy of Rs. 1 per kg of rice. For simplicity of calculation, I shall assume 10 Kilos of Rice are consumed in a family. Which in turn means, this proposal will cost Rs. 16 crores at the least.

PROMISE C: Free Colour TV
Saint Karunanidhi in his infinite wisdom has now decreed he would dispense with 53 lakh colour TVs in the first 2 years. Assuming the government is able to source cheap Chinese colour TVs for Rs. 5000, this would mean 2650 crores.

PROMISE D: Employment for the unemployed
The 3 lakh unemployed youth that Saint Karunanidhi has in mind is rural youth with no fancy qualifications. Assuming each of these blokes earn at least 60,000 a year and the cost of creating these jobs as 10% of the salary, that would be 6000 x 3 lakhs = 180 crores.

Promise E: Pregnant women allowance
The Saint has sworn that he shall give 1000 a month for 6 months for all pregnant women. That's like 6000 for every pregnant woman. Assuming, he does a flip flop on this and ends up giving this amount to just 1 lakh pregnant women, this would add up to Rs. 60 crores.

Promise F: Free Power to Weavers
I have no clue on the cost of this, I am being niggardly and allocating 50 crores for this proposal.

Promise G: Loan Waivers
Since google didn't offer me any numbers to crunch on, I am going to put a very conservative ballpark figure of Rs. 100 crores as the outflow this proposal.

Promise H: Reservation
My sixth sense tells me the Supreme Court will strike down this generous gift from the Saint.

If I add up the costs, the sum will be roughly 3000 crores. That's like 10% of Tamil Nadu's annual budget. For a state that's just started making money, this will be one helluva shock to absorb.

One more interesting observation: There are around 4 crore voters in Tamil Nadu. And Saint Karunanidhi is offering goodies worth Rs. 3000 crores. That's like Rs. 750 per voter!

But is 750 bucks a good price for your vote? We'll know on May 8th.


Blogger catcharun said...

hmm..can we also have info on what the other side is promising, so i can make a fair assessment of whether i'd be better of posing as a pregnant, backward class, unemployed weaver so i can get electricity to run my free tv

9:37 AM  
Blogger √úbermaniam said...

let's join the party.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Bombayite said...

IUML in Kerala is offering around 10000 Gulf visas this assembly elections :))

7:51 PM  

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