Time: January 15, 2014 from 10am to 1pm
Location: Magnolia Hall, India Habitat Centre
Street: Lodhi Road
City/Town: New Delhi
Event Type: discussion, forum
Organized By: Tania Kahlon
Latest Activity: Jan 14, 2014
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Mam, I come across a thoughtful review of an article (Gender issues for the Fourteenth Finance Commission) appeared in the ECONOMIC & POLITICAL WEEKLY by Dr.Mina Swaminathan, Chennai and wish to share with you and friends.
Economic and Political Weekly January 4,2014
The article “Gender Issues for the Fourteenth Finance Commission” in your issue of December 21, 2013, draws attention to some of the devastating social consequences of the use of the tax on liquor as a means to generate large revenues for the State. Thus, in Tamil Nadu, the widespread availability of liquor through the vast network of TASMAC shops(Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) generates huge revenues through both excise duties and sales taxes. The author mentions some of the negative impacts of such liquor sales on women and families, such as violence, tension and marital quarrels, and sshortage of money in the family leading to violence and extraction of money, and more—clearly liquor is a major threat to the quality of women’s lives.
But this is not all—a deeper look will point to damaging consequences both to men, and to the economic and social fabric as a whole. For example, a study of the levels of male morbidity and mortality in Tamil Nadu in the last twenty years,( and it should not be difficult for the Finance Commission to obtain these figures )is likely to show high levels of both. The social consequences, during the years of morbidity ( in addition to what has already been pointed out by the author) would include --irregular and/or loss of employment leading to lower earnings by males in the family on the one hand, and high costs of hospitalization, medical expenses and care during the period of illness, sometimes as much as ten years, on the other. After the death of the male, the family becomes a woman-headed one, with a heavy debt burden as a result of the expenditures of nursing and of funeral costs; with limited earning capacity ( as women’s work always brings in less than that of men),and other social costs such as risk of community ostracism and sexual harassment by men seeking unprotected women.
It is encouraging to know that appropriate fiscal measures by the Finance Commission, within the framework of “ gender budgeting”, can ameliorate this situation to some extent, by reducing the State’s dependence on liquor taxation for revenue. Perhaps the author, as both a woman and a bureaucrat, can make this suggestion to the 14th Finance Commission on behalf of the many women who cannot.
But due to some prior commitments. I can't be part of it.
Hope will hear from you about the details
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