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Day 38 – Q 4.Don’t you think various sops and subsidies take away the incentive of work for the poor? Critically examine.

4. Don’t you think various sops and subsidies take away the incentive of work for the poor? Critically examine. 

क्या आपको नहीं लगता कि विभिन्न लाभों और सब्सिडी से गरीबों में काम करने की प्रवृत्ति काम हो जाती है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।


The socialistic feature of Indian Constitution, low standard of living, high levels of disparities in the in income of various sections, along with the populism involved in politics of the day – has lead the government to carry out the redistribution of wealth, and ensure equity among the population through various subsidies and sops


Some of the incentives given to the poor are as follows- 

  • National food security Act giving grains at Rs 1/2/3 to the BPL families.
  • Subsidized or free education at Government Schools
  • Zero or minimal Utility charges- related to electricity, water etc.
  • Offering freebies eg- free sewing machines, laptop, cycle etc (mostly out of populism)
  • Subsidized housing under Indira Awas Yojana or Housing for All initiative.

The subsidies although the biggest weapon of populism & help the Government of the day to garner votes, it is accused to take away the benefits of work & to ingrain complacency & lethargy in the people of the country, making them abstain hard work. Various sops and subsidies are criticized due to the following reasons- 

  • It puts huge burden on the resources of the country and increases fiscal deficit.
  • Freebies reduce the work culture in a country.
  • It takes out the importance related to hard work.
  • It kills the need for work and may force individuals to take up wrong path (Gandhiji)
  • It reduces competition and fight to produce the best.
  • It increased dependency on subsidized products and reduces heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers in India.
  • It reduces the work potential of individuals of the society.
  • Inclusion and Exclusion errors prevent the targeting of subsidies.

However, at the same time it must be noted that 21.5% of the Indian population is under poverty, subsidies are need in order to tackle the multidimensionality of poverty and to promote living as individuals by giving them certain basic rights. They are advantageous in the following 


  • They provide bare minimum needs and reduce expenditure for the poor.
  • It helps in providing the Right to Life for individuals, which would help them focus on other aspects of life.
  • It ensures the poor to get certain benefit for their upliftment.
  • It creates equal level playing field.
  • It provides a way to Affirmative Action.
  • It ensures basic health and education of all citizens.
  • It helps a country, especially India- to abide by its Constitution. (DPSPs and Fundamental Rights)


Thus, subsidies and sops- should not have “Blanket approach”, they should be evaluated on case to case basis and its utility and financial burden should be evaluated thoroughly by including all stakeholders before the launch of a particular subsidy.


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