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Showing posts from April, 2008

The cashless health insurance cover for the 300 million poor is most welcome; but then, a lot would depend on the scheme's implementation!!!

At a point in time, when millions of poor and disadvantaged households across the nation are reeling under the scorching rise in prices of basic goods and commodities, the recent announcement of the Government of India (as suggested by the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector) to provide a cashless health insurance scheme for the 300 million people below the poverty line, has been a welcome relief! In fact, the scheme was announced by the Honourable Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, during his Union Budget speech this year itself. As per the announcement, the scheme is slated to cover all the 300 million people below the poverty line, within the next five years. It is estimated that the premium per family will come to Rs.750, of which the Centre will be paying 75% and the rest 25% will be borne by the respective state governments. The Planning Commission has announced that the entitlement of the benefits to the people would be determined by the respective st

Salary rise for the rich, price rise for the poor! Can you think of anything more shameful?

My dear readers must first be told a little about the country they live in, to understand the story I am about to tell in the right perspective. India is the land where we have defined the poverty line at a shameful level of about Rs 450 per person per month (shame we don’t call it the destitution line)! And below this shameful definition of poverty line lies 29% of our population. When we give a reasonably respectable definition of Rs 750 per capita per month (though the worldwide accepted definition of poverty line is a dollar a day ie Rs 1,200 per capita per month), we find roughly 65% of our population falling below the poverty line! That means in India, more than 65% of the people earn less than Rs 750 per head per month! Given that definition of poor, the definition of rich would definitely be those earning more than Rs 3,000 per capita (i.e Rs 15,000 per month for a family of 5) in the context of the country we are talking about. If it shocks you, then for your comfort, let me c

Indians and Chinese are no brothers yet. There is a civilisation of a difference between our democracy and their totalitarian rule.

While the world was about to acknowledge the Chinese ascension in the 21st century through its hosting of the Olympics this year, the ghost of the typical Chinese style persecution and how human rights still remain an alien concept in this supposedly 5000-year-old civilisation has stared haunting all over again. Last heard, the unofficial figures are put at a death toll of 80, while the Chinese media puts it at not more than 13!! Strangely, despite the incredible economic growth and even putting behind the First World in terms of manufacturing feat, the gap between Chinese and non-Chinese media when it comes to estimation of figures still remain very pertinent. While the world assumed that China as a country has come a long way from the days of Tiananmen Square, and while many thought that economic maturity and prosperity would somehow soften the Chinese regime with respect to human rights, the sheer threat of use of force and brutal subjugation that is coming from the Chinese regime e