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Incentivizing the Disdained: An Eyewash

Political parties are outdoing each other promising free electricity and water, laptops, cycles, mixies, etc.. Implementation of these promises will have economic implications that are not negative in the present circumstances. Disdainfully these are called `freebies’ and characterized as fiscally imprudent. The well-off and businesses get `freebies’ euphemistically called `incentives’. Since 2006, the Union Budget estimates them to be between Rs.4 and Rs.6 lakh crore each year. If the well-off who don’t really need `freebies’ can get so much, why can’t the marginalized (especially the women and the young) get a fraction of it?