Planning Commission ropes in McDonald’s to eradicate poverty

New Delhi. Heralding a new era in public-private partnership, Planning Commission has decided to partner with fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s in an attempt to remove poverty from India. McDonalds will soon give employment to a poor Indian and pay him one McAloo Tikki™ in kind, which costs at least 20 rupees even during Happy Hours, thus meeting the threshold set by the Planning Commission to identify urban poor.

“Since India is growing at a rate of at least 9 percent, we are hopeful of at least one McDonald’s outlet in each urban Indian city soon,” Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission said after undertaking some complex mathematical calculations, “Clearly McDonald’s would need more employees and we thought it was a perfect opportunity for us to join hands.”
If a person alive in India can afford this Tikki, and only this Tikki and nothing else for the whole day, he is not poor.
As per the agreement between the government and the fast-food restaurant chain, McDonald’s will be given a list people living below poverty line in the vicinity of an outlet, and the restaurant will then employ them gainfully for a salary of one McAloo Tikki™ a day. Since the market price of one such Tikki is at least 20 rupees, the employee would thus no longer remain poor in the eyes of the government.
Sources at McDonald’s confirmed the partnership and expressed confidence of employing all such urban poor at their outlets.
“Anyone not earning even 20 rupees a day is surely quite hungry. We can easily give such a person a job of cleaning the leftovers,” a McDonald’s official said, “We get a lot of urban rich at our outlets who order more than they can eat.”
The official clarified that US based McDonald’s would never get into such an arrangement with the US government as the poverty threshold in US was at least 30 US Dollars per day and non-cash benefits were not counted as income while measuring poverty.
“But India is not US; even the government here has clarified it many times recently,” the official pointed out.
McDonald’s could launch this employment scheme at their Colaba outlet in Mumbai next weekAn intensive manhunt to find a person earning below 20 rupees per day and alive in the area has been launched by the CBI for this purpose. No success was reported till reports last came in.

But the government has dismissed such issues as teething problems and hopes to kick off the partnership in other cities soon. Post this arrangement, government is hopeful of bringing down the number of urban poor to levels matched by those in developed countries, thus paving the way for India to become an economic superpower.


Ranjaran Committee Report on ‘Efficient Management of Public Expenditure’

A High Level Expert committee chaired by C. Rangarajan submitted its report on “Efficient Management of Public Expenditure” on September 2nd. The report recommends an overhaul of budgetary process in the country. It suggests removal of distinction between plan and non-plan expenditure in the budget. It says:

“On removal of Plan/Non-Plan distinction in the Budget, there should be a fundamental shift in the
approach of public expenditure management- from a segmented view of Plan and Non-Plan to
holistic view of expenditure; from a one year horizon to a multi-year horizon; and from input
based budgeting to the budgeting linked to outputs and outcomes. This shift to holistic view of
expenditure would require, interalia changes in organizational structure, mandates and processes.

In the envisaged system, the MOF will prepare proposed allocations for ministries with broad
scheme-wise allocations and committed items and send it to Planning Commission for their
feedback and scrutiny. The Planning Commission will scrutinise these allocations based on the
overall development priorities, outcome targets and sectoral requirements. On the receipt of the
comments of Planning Commission, the budget allocations will be further reviewed and
incorporated in the budget by the MOF.”

If adopted these recommendations will bring about drastic changes in the way public expenditure is managed. Planning Commission will take up more of an advisory role. This can also have implications on subsidy system.

Twelth plan approach paper draft

he 12th Plan approach paper draft, recently cleared by the full plan panel meeting chaired by the PM, and is awaiting approval from the NDC, is now available at Planning Commission website. Good to see the right kind of emphasis on Soils and Rainfed Agriculture.

It can be downloaded from this page: