Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1077 : Its a fair world, a fairer country, and the fairest state…and yet I feel so very mucked up

Okay, for the record, I have been paying direct (income) taxes for almost 14 years now. And never once have I wriggled out of my fair share of payment back to the society. I pay direct taxes and a host of indirect taxes.

I sport a National Passport, a PAN card, a voters ID, a drivers license, a proof of domicile (in Mumbai), a ration card (in Mumbai)….and of course a million other thingy’s to prove that I am an Indian – and a clean Indian at that.

So picture this, I walk into Bangalore (Bengaluru) from Mumbai. I cannot get a gas connection, a post paid telephone connection, or a broadband connection easily.

All of these require a local proof of residence. Then I really sit and wonder whyTF do I even pay national taxes? Why not move all my taxes to the federated state?

Secondly, though I managed to solve the phone thingy and the broadband jumble, by some innovative arm twisting – the cylinder (LPG) guys came back and told me - “Sorry Saar, you need to have ration card only (sic). Nothing else will be okay (sic!!). Give ration card, and we give cylinder.”

How does my govt./society expect me to survive in this alien land? Am I supposed to eat out for 2 months, till I solve this rigmarole.

I just hated the experience completely.

Enough of cribbing, so what do I think we could do to ease off the situation.

1. I understand LPG’s are subsidized and hence govt. does not want to use them for commercial use (eg. a restaurant).
2. Why not just let me walk into a BP, HP or Indane – pay up 1500 as deposit for the two cylinders, 700 as actual cost of the two cylinders, give a address without the need for a proof – they give me a customer id, and tie to two unique cylinder ids to my customer id.
3. They now tell me, that I can’t order more than a cylinder every 25 days (as an example). A 14 kg cylinder will last a family of 4 with heavy use for about 45 days. So 25 days should be fair rule.
4. Also they make sure that an address is not having more than 1 registration. So in effect, I cant game the system by having a registration in my name, my wife’s name, my kids name and so on…with the same address. (This should be easy to solve from an IT standpoint….Amazon already does fantabulous duplicate address reconciliation, as an example.)

Makes me wonder, why can’t we implement such simple ideas quickly. (If you notice a hole, do let me know, we can improve this model, till its water tight…then we shall present it to Nandan Nilekanni, as part of his National ID program, and hope that it gets implemented in the next 25 years :-) Seriously, I am such a sceptic. :-))

Why can’t the world around me work to make my (and hence the average common man’s) life a little easier than harder.

On a side note, there is a bhajia wala outside my building (in Bangalore) and he uses BP cylinders, and he has 2 spare cylinders always.

I wonder what address proof and ids does he have? Akhir usme kya hai jo mujh mein nahin?

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1 comment:

Navamey said...

Guess those thoughts for the gov stay the same wherever u are :) I havnt really stayed much in India, been a NRI most of my life, still the one time I had experienced this same process was 8 years back, wow its still the same?!! But then like u rightly said, expecting a change..haha whom r we fooling :P Heres a link to my brand-new-shiny blog.. its still a newbie! http://tupelohoni.wordpress.com/