New Delhi. After the government rejected the suggestions of Kelkar panel to sharply reduce subsidies on fuels, the panel has come back with the same set of recommendations, claiming that the reduced subsidies will stop communal forces from coming to power.
“If we eliminate subsidy on Diesel and LPG, and reduce subsidy on Kerosene by one-third, India will become more secular and communal forces will be defeated,” former Finance Commission Chairman Vijay Kelkar claimed in a press conference.
Mr. Kelkar said that his panel had asked the government to reconsider its recommendations in wake of the “new findings”.
Earlier Mr. Kelkar, who headed this panel set up by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, had claimed that eliminating subsidies could lead to fiscal consolidation and reduce fiscal deficit, which could shoot up to 6% of the GDP in the current financial year.
“Chuck all the finance and economics talk. Forget what I said last time,” Kelkar rejected his earlier arguments, “I am re-submitting the findings of the panel. Our recommendation is that we must do away with subsidies for sake of a secular state.”
When Faking News asked for the logic behind correlation between subsidy and secularism, Vijay Kelkar stood up from his char, made a U-turn, and left the press conference.
“I hope you got the answer,” said Arvind Shekhar, a member of the Kelkar panel, as Vijay Kelkar left the place.
While rest of the journalists thought that it meant “no comments”, Faking News could immediately understand that Mr. Kelkar was referring to Mulayam Singh Yadav when he made a U-turn.
The Samajwadi Party leader had earlier argued that they were supporting the UPA government to stop communal forces from coming to power even though his party was against the decisions taken by the government.
“Perhaps the political class can get away with anything if they say that they were doing it to oppose communal forces; then why not take some economic decisions?” a Kelkar panel member told Faking News on conditions of anonymity.