11: Blueprint for Addressing Poverty and Inequality

Policies are proposed as ‘radical humanism’ to eradicate poverty and redress inequality while vanquishing caste and untouchability. On the economic policy side, the chapter recommends intensification of cash and assets transfers and tax policy reform to reduce inequality through higher income tax progressivity, wealth, gift and inheritance taxes, increased taxes on luxuries, use of earmarked taxes for their intended purposes of education and health and tax administration reform to counter tax evasion.

It recommends cutting back bureaucratic hurdles, expanding private-public partnership in the provision of socio-economic services such as hospitals, and encouragement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for services to the very poor.

It recommends perceptible step-up of women’s rights through proportional representation and children’s condition including health and education. It proposes a youth task force to implement compulsory social service by youth in rural and urban sectors following existing global and prior domestic experience, and proposes a framework for services by sector. It urges political reform while pointing out that caste-based politics is unlikely to serve the nation in the long run.

It traces the ongoing work at the United Nations to draw attention to financial transfers of the colonial era and strongly suggests international financial reparations to counter the ramifications of global colonialism.

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