DNA Exclusive: Analysis of the ‘economy’ behind freebies announced by political parties

In a book titled “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch,” Nobel laureate Milton Friedman wrote that nothing comes for free. It must be paid, if not today then tomorrow and if not tomorrow then the next day. The culture of handing out freebies is in full swing in the country and the Election Commission has taken a major step in this direction. India’s Election Commission wrote to political parties on Tuesday for providing authentic information to voters to assess the financial viability of their election promises and also asked for their views on the matter.

In today’s DNA, Rohit Ranjan of Zee News analyzes the economics behind the freebies culture in Indian politics.

Amid debate over these free offers in Parliament and the Supreme Court, the Election Commission has instructed all political parties and asked them to inform voters about the financial viability of their election promises.

All governments and political parties will be required to disclose information about the funding of their announced free schemes.

These are some of the points mentioned in the EC circular sent to these political parties. The circular asks parties to state Which section of society will benefit from the free scheme?

What are the economic consequences of the promised free scheme?

What are the funding sources for the free scheme?

And the most important point is that political parties will have to tell them how they are going to raise money to fulfill the free election promise.

Apart from this, it will also have to be told what will affect the economy of the state or country in the implementation of the free scheme.

This decision by the Election Commission is important because it will not allow political parties to make empty promises in the elections. Voters will also be able to judge how practical the promises of free schemes really are.

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