Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday said the freebies announced by political parties and state governments have a ‘tadka’ of populism and it is difficult for those who win polls to either implement these sops or stop this practice.
Responding to a question on freebies announced by various parties and government ahead of elections, he said while it is the domain of the state governments, they do not remember such sops for five years but announce them just a month or a fortnight before the poll schedule is announced.
He recalled that the EC had recently brought out a proforma for parties and states to explain how and when the promises made by them in their poll manifesto will be implemented.
“Some announcement in one state and some other announcement in others. I don’t know why it is not remembered for five years and all the announcements are made in the last one month or 15 days. Anyway, that is the domain of the state governments,” he said.
Parties and state were asked about the debt to GDP ratio, interest payment to total revenue and whether they will breach the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) targets. The governments were also asked whether they will reduce some of the schemes to implement what has been promised in the manifesto, and whether there will be an extra burden of tax on the people.
“The intention behind it was to bring every thing in public domain,” he said.
Voters should know the picture which emerges on the basis of financial fundamentals, he said, adding there has to be a balance on present versus mortgaging the future generations.
“These announcements have a ‘tadka’ of populism. It is difficult to either implement or stop such (sops). Therefore, people have a right to know how these freebies will be implemented,” he said.