Surendra Mohanty, M.P. from Orissa was pungent but not
far from truth, when he said, "the tax proposals
are a warrant of penalty on the people for the failure
of the First Plan for no fault of their own".
While we show with pride and pleasure, Bhakra or Sindri
to foreign V.I.P's we think that they do not note, our
deficit financing, inflation, heavy borrowing, and such
other ugly features! The emaciated peasant, the deserted
villages, the discontented white collar, all these do
not escape the vigilant eyes of the foreigner, and though
he throws bouquets here and there he chuckles within
himself, and says that we are planning for a crash!
Some of those, who do not care much for our smiles,
do warn us, and ask us to go slow-or carry out our plans,
carefully, but Pandit Nehru has neither the time not
the patience to pay heed to such words of caution—for
hurry he must towards the appointed goal, gales do not
terrorise him and this Mariner, is prepared to sail
the stormy sea, with a half-torn mast!
When the entire press and the public are infuriated
over this 'fleece-all' budget, Pandit Nehru, silences
all his colleagues, by an edict, "Let us bear the
burden today—for tomorrow is going to be bright. Sacrifice!
Austerity! Tighten the belt" These are charming
words indeed but as Mr.Thakur Das Bhargava , of the
Congress fold says, "the Government's call for
sacrifice and austerity was justified but they should
come forward with CLEAN HANDS. On the one hand, the
Government were asking people to tighten their belts
and on the other they were spending crores of rupees
on luxury hotels!"
When with a view to infuse some hope and solace in the
minds of the people, some of the Congress members themselves,
bring in a resolution for a cut in the salary of the
Ministers. Pandit Nehru comes forward, with a frown,
to play the critic and protect the fatter calves!! And
this when in Kerala, the Communists have reduced the
salaries of ministers to the barest minimum.
Nothing large can be served by such 'Cuts' but it would
go a long way to prove that the powers-that-be are themselves
prepared to tighten their belts!!
The public are asked to pay the pound of flesh and asked
also to witness the pomp and extravagance of ministers
and their sycophants!
One hears about the luxury hotels, artificial tanks
and the like, while the finance minister takes the big
stick to beat the poor and middle class, by taxing all
consumer goods, Hence it is that despite the fact that
many in the Congress fold prepared to idolize Mr. Nehru,
are yet forced to murmur at least that the present taxation
proposal, is nothing but a method of harassing the poor
to humour the rich!
"The impact of the taxes proposed by Mr . Krishnamachari
comes, at least apparently heaviest upon the common
people the most vocal section of the urban middle classes
who have till now got little benefit in return for the
sacrifices they have made so long for the sake of the
planned economic development of the country."
Prudently enough, Mr. C.Rajagopalachariar suggests to
levy new taxes in regions wherein the First Five Year
Plan has bestowed tangible benefits! C.R. is not my
friend is all the reply that Mr T.T.K. is able to hurl
And what is the record of achievement of the Congress
regime as for as bridging the gulf between the rich
and poor is concerned? Has the lot of the have-nots
improved? What is the contribution of the Congress regime,
in this respect barring of course sweet shibboleths
about Socialistic pattern, Socialism by consent and
What is given below is not an irresponsible outburst
of the opposition but the sober findings of Mr. Shriman
Narayan, the General Secretary of the Congress Writing
in the 'Economic Review' a journal of the All India
Congress Committee, Mr. Narayan says "that all
available statistics tended to show that the difference
between the living standards of the richer and the poorer
sections instead or being narrowed down had increased
further during the last nine or ten years. This was
a matter which requires very serious study and thought
before the finance minister can expect the common people
to become enthusiastic about his taxation proposals"
And to tax the poor, after this is to say the least,
merciless; but Pandit Nehru, is not bound to respect
these dictums; he is wedded to the plan and should feed
it, even if that compels him to fleece all!
Pandit Nehru, refutes not the accusation levelled at
his administration, the charges of extravagance, corruption,
irregularities; but brushes these aside by saying, "We
have not so far succeeded in curbing these evils altogether".
Probably he is thinking that much money can not be saved,
by these methods. The great Pandit, should permit men
of lesser importance also to have a say in such matters,
for, it is not a question of managing the Allahabad
Estate but the handling of the destinies of crores of
The CINCINATI post has this to say—it is captioned PENCE
The passport division of the State Department found
it didn't need 32 pages in a passport. It cut the pages
to 20—net saving 48,000 dollars a year. Half a million
passports per year were being sent by registered mail.
It was found that on an average, fewer than 3 a year
were being lost. So registering was discontinued—net
saving to the post office department, 1,50,000 dollars
There is a tendency to think of budget cuts in large,
round sums only. Common sense business tests applied
to a multitude of relatively small operations, can save
a dollar here, and a dollar there, adding up to large
round sums. Congressional committees hunting for the
big ways to save, should not scorn the little ones.
This in a country, which 'lends and leases' money and
materials to all countries that are not Red.
How much anguish will the public get, when it compares
this with the Jeep Scandal, Fertiliser Scandal, Ready
Made House Scandal, the Ammunition Depot Scandal and
a host of other scandals!!
Extravagance, waste and corruption in public services,
especially in the big development projects have assumed
proportions that can hardly be ignored.
But the Pandit ignores these for he is fully engrossed
in the mighty task of implementing the Second Five Year
Plan with a view to start on the third in due course!
Many of his colleagues, and some at least of his well-wishers,
have pointed out, with due deference to his eminence
and emotion that instead of fleecing all to feed the
plan, the plan can be pruned in such a way as to minimise
the crushing effect of the taxation proposals!
Once started, always on the march—says this Crusader
unmindful of the fact that the country is loaded with
discontent, squalor, and poverty.
This says Hitavada "is to impress foreign nations."
"If the object of the Finance Minister in imposing
the highest taxation ever proposed in single budget
was to impress foreign nations, that India was doing
her best and that they should step in with their financial
aid to cover the gap of about Rs. 275 crores and thus
enable India to implement the current part of the Second
Five Year Plan, the object hardly seems to have been
realised", and the Nagpur daily points out that
the impressions created in New York, is that these levies
are but symptoms of the desperate economic position
into which India has been dragged by the weight of the
The Government is trying to raise a billion dollar loan
from the World Bank.
'Hitavada' says, Pandit Nehru, who has ignored the friendly
advice given by his well-wishers, will be forced to
eat the humble pie, at the hands of this World Bank,
for, before conceding this Billion dollar loan, the
presiding officer there, will have some harsh things
to say about the plan.
Already, quarters akin to the World Bank, consider,
that the Indian Plan is not only over-ambitious but
it is badly phased!
A billion dollar loan can not be given for the mere
asking of it, though it be that it is the Great Nehru
who asks this loan. Many will come forward to present
Nehru with a Lyric in praise of his sentiment—but a
billion dollar bill will have to be backed by, realism,
"Revise the plan!" will be the bitter pill
that will have to be taken, before the billion dollar
loan comes forth.
To amend the plan to satisfy the experts overseas, is
to damage the self-respect of this country—and it would
be prudent on the part of Nehru, to heed to the suggestions
of his friends—though they be but in humbler stations.
"The Second Plan" concludes the Hitavada "as
it stands, has not enthused the people; it has also
failed to inspire foreign capital flow into India. Neither
has it helped capital formation within the country.
Is it too much to hope that the government will retrace
their steps before it is too late?"
We are afraid, these sober suggestions will but infuriate
the Pandit, for he refuses to believe that he is leading
this country towards the dangers of economic chaos—for
the good great man is almost blinded by the very dazzle
of the plan.
Probably the Pandit thinks that men of his eminence
should not consume the 'home mades'!
There is yet another view! That after all, it is John
Bull who is going to put a break on the path, during
the forthcoming Commonwealth Conference.
The bitter pill, they say, is to be administered by
the London clinic.
Mr. Nehru feels it an honour and pleasure to be in the
Commonwealth and in the Sterling area. Pakistan is also
a member—a sort of favoured member too!
Pakistan says that it is afraid of the armament race
in Bharat! Huge sums are spent for building up armaments
over there just to scare us into submission over the
Kashmir issue and the Canal water issue, laments this
big brother of the Baghdad Pact.
Let us not analyse its logic—suffice to note, that having
a place alongside India at the Commonwealth Conference,
Pakistan is bound to make a big noise against this—and
the British nations are also bound to side and support
its kinsmen in spirit from Karachi.
"Dawn" beats the Big Drum already.
"When he goes to London later this month Mr. Suhrawardy
will doubtless have in mind the imperative urgency of
calling a halt to Bharat's desperate bid to swell her
armed strength at the expense of other members of the
Dawn is almost sure of mustering the support of the
other members in the Commonwealth, in this mission!
Says the daily, that the course of Mr. Nehru ought to
be checked because, if allowed to take its own course,
"imperil the stability and strength of the Sterling
area as a whole"
And critics, who are conversant with the mental make
up of Pandit Nehru, point out, that while he dictatorially
brushed aside the words of his well-wishers, he would
be forced to act up to what the foreign dignitaries
ask him to do Either the World Bank, or the Commonwealth
Conference at London, the critics point out, will put
a break to the onward rush of Pandit Nehru.
Till then the state of affairs here is bound to be 'fleece-all
to feed the plan' and nothing more.