Sunday, March 04, 2007

the whole deal with social security...

india flirts with social security....and... usual instead of dealing with it face on passes the buck...

OK, so whats the deal. The government of india passed a bill whereby it becomes mandatory for kids to take care of their parents. Fair enough. The punishment for abandoning parents ranges anywhere between being imprisoned to heavy fines. ok, Fair again. The government also plans to build another 3000 retirement homes all over the country. OK, that also sounds good. But then thats it.

My problem with this bill lies with the fact that the government chooses to wash its hands off the whole problem so easily and instead wants to play moral police punishing those who dont abide by its rules. An important fact to consider here is that subset of children who dont make enough money to feed themselves, forget providing for their parents. I dont see why the government doesnt deal with the issue in a more complete sense, on providing a framework to see to it that senior citizens dont face the problem of being financially starved which in other words means creating a social security system by which you put money in while ure working and get money when u qualify. I understand the logistic compulsions of such a system is huge, but there is always a start that needs to be made at some point, and that point could be now. Another point to be considered is that this is the first generation post independence that will be retiring, so the problems are just beginning. If we sift through the demographic changes in society in India, it is apparent that old frameworks are breaking, so isnt it important to gear up for the future?

The overhaul of this system would also normalize a lot of issues, of getting actual data reported on taxation as well as providing each citizen with an identification number that could be tied up with other facets of the system. The country also couldnt face the problem the US is facing now, because of the lopsided ratio between the working population and the senior citizen population.

In my opinion, this was a golden chance for the government to step up to prove India has changed. But all we see is old rhetoric on proving someone else wrong rather than finding the right solution.


Blogger Sami said...

You make some good points Shiva. It seems a half-baked effort on the part of the government to tackle the problem. Its another one of those populist law/scheme meant to garner votes. Unless we develop a social security system similar to the one in the west, things are going to get far worse. Its true the social security system in the west has had problems, but something is better than nothing.

5:55 PM  

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