While hearing a petition demanding the de-recognition of political parties that promise “irrational freebies” to voters, the Supreme Court recently drew attention to the substantial fiscal cost of freebies. The court noted that a legislation banning freebies is not advisable, but at the same time called for a balance between welfare measures and loss to the public exchequer. The Supreme Court’s observation comes in the backdrop of the clash between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party on the issue of wasteful spending on freebies. It also takes in the larger public debate on how to differentiate welfare spending from freebies.
Here we discuss various aspects of the subject.
Guest: Reetika Khera, Professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; N.R. Bhanumurthy, Vice-Chancellor of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar School of Economics
Host: Prashanth Perumal