"The more you subsidize, the more you will have to eventually raise the taxes. Through subsidization, a government thinks of the short term gains. It leaves a debt for tomorrow. A subsidy may prove counter-productive for the more vulnerable sections," he said in an article.
    
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said that the water subsidy has ‘completely ignored the weakest section of Delhi’ and the poorest of Delhi have been kept out of the water subsidy scheme as they do not have piped water supply.
    
He said that localities without a pipeline, households without a tap and meter and houses with defective meters are not entitled to any subsidy.
    
Households in the NDMC area, particularly of lesser paid employees, and in Delhi Cantonment area have all been kept out of the water subsidy, he said.
    
"This subsidy ignores the weakest and includes a small layer of people with metered consumption," Jaitley said.
    
The BJP leader said that subsidies are an unquantified amount given to unidentifiable section of people and through subsidies a government does not cut down the rates or the cost, but maintains the existing rates and tariffs and only uses the tax payers’ money to subsidize a section.
        
He said that subsidies make the health of supply organizations vulnerable and the real challenge is that those outside the water supply system must be connected to it.
    
This he said, can be achieved through laying down pipelines in every locality and installation of taps in every house can only be provided by a healthy board and not a financially vulnerable DJB.
    
Jaitley said that Delhi has about 18 lakh water connections, of which 8.5 lakh have functional meters and about 5 lakh meters are non functional or defective, while the rest are un-metered.
    
"The scope of the benefit has narrowed down to just some of the households falling in one of the above four categories. And this category is not the most vulnerable section," he said.

(Agencies)

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