Friday, August 3, 2007

The Reforms I Expect in India - The Next Generation

Dr P V Sesha Sai Aswamedhayaaji 235, Federal Row Dr # 201, COLLIERVILLE TN 38017 USA e mail, web, 31st July 2007
The Reforms I expect in India – The next Generation (Telephone Revenue)
The value of a paisa - unfortunate coins of India from Rs.1 and below, made me to write this. A cent is considered as a valuable unit in USA and not only that, even still decimals of a cent are considered as of much value. The coins are minted in large quantities and it is increasing year by year in USA, to the best of my knowledge.
Long back I remember to have seen a Paisa – the 100th of a Rupee, and there were 2,5,10,20,25,50 paisa coins and this was perhaps when there was some value for all this. I do not think even these coins are minted now a days. Interestingly even beggars do not accept less than an Rs.2 coin and Rs.1 is not being considered as a valuable unit of measure and this is the practical position. This position is nothing new to any Indian. Knowing all this fully well, why the Government puts up some improper regulations in an irregular and impracticable manner, remains to be an unsolved question when all this needs a simple commonsense.
The purpose of my writing all this is simply linked to the tariff of a phone call in telephone booths throughout the country. I believe (I presume that the tariff is something like Rs.1.32ps) Rs.1.32 paisa or so is the minimum tariff for a phone call. I do not really understand as to why the Government keeps a fancy of maintaining an odd charge for such an important public need. I believe that at least a fifty lakhs calls are made in these public booths throughout the country on any day, on an average.
I started analyzing the subject. No booth owner accept Rs.1.32paise religiously, for the simple reason, neither he keeps such a change, nor the customer carries such odd change, nor such change is useful for both of them in any manner outside. Perhaps, if any one wishes to observe strict discipline and carry a change that suits a call, the booth owner unhesitatingly demands a minimum of Rs.2 and makes fun of our sincerity. Thus, a consumer is forced to pay Rs.2 the next immediately acceptable coin beyond Rs.1/ - and the difference of Rs.0.68ps or so, goes to the pocket of the Booth owner.
If the Government is a little wise in its tariff, say, if it charges Rs.2/ per call and make the tariff in round sums of a rupee, the amount which goes to the pocket of the booth owner straight goes into the revenue pooling of the Government and the consumer is nothing to lose additionally. Assuming for a while that the Government is getting at a rate of Rs.0.40ps per call from a consumer beyond what they are charging today, on an average, that would be Rs.20 lakhs of rupees a day and it is something like 72 crores of rupees revenue a year – may be something more if accurate statistics are available.
It is time for the Government to think of this wisely and it is advisable for the Government to implement such systems which are practicable and possible in real life. Some logical and practical approach will be beneficial to the Government in enforcing its policies. Dr P V. Sesha Sai Aswamedhayaaji

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