"The rates have gone up". "Many of them want touch phones". "down payment for a new bike". "Digital box for TV" (remember the digitization deadline?). The murmurs are on. The "cash rates" are as high as Rs 4000. "Give them a photocopy of your voter id card" to "avail the offer". Speeches from the battery of half a dozen recent chief ministers, and the Modis, Gandhis and Singhs is one thing, and this elephant in the room another. Churumuri has a list of more such "kind" alternatives to cash that could be in use during this election: Quoting from 12 ways ...:
# Tankers carrying water.
# JCBs and atractors to do any kind of earth work in your field, either freely or at heavily subsidized rates.
# Borewell rigs to dig borewells.
# Books for students.
# Access to government welfare programs and services – from old age pension to various subsidies that the state government offers; from subscription to Yashasvini medical insurance scheme to free ration from government ration shops.
JD (S) leader PGR Sindhia claimed that Congress leader DK Shivakumar was distributing watches ...
If all this is really true, why is it so hard to catch and report some of this? If it really is that hard to track such "transactions" and then link them to a candidate?
Writing this "armchair" post to:
- Check on what all you 'know' or have 'heard' about this side of elections? How prevalent is all this?
- Wonder if there are some workable ideas around to make such tracking possible!?
- And, try some maths that may be in the minds of the parties or candidates
Now, some ROI maths
Let us take a consituency, say Chikkballapur.
- As per empower india, in 2008 elections, around 159952 guys voted.
- Winner got 39.49% of votes, runner up got 21.01, third position got 17.49%
- Winner + Runner up combined 77.99% of votes = 124747 votes.
'Investment' Per Constituency
Now, Assuming that "transactions" happened for 20% of these votes, or for 24949 votes
- If @ Rs 500 each, amount involved = Rs 1,24,74,500 about 1.24 Crores
- If @ 2000 each ~ Rs 3.72 Crores
Even if we raise this to Rs 15 Crores, and divide equally between top 3 parties, the amount comes up to Rs 5 Crore per constituency per party. Taken across all 224 constituencies, a party could be looking at Rs 1120 Crores of 'investment' in the elections.
'Returns' on Investment
Rs 5 Cr / Constituency - how big is this number ? Assuming a 10% "cover charge" on public projects, the winning candidate would be abe to "recover" the "investment" in just Rs 50 Crore worth of contracts.
Lets look at some numbers to validate this. Refer Karnataka state budget for 2013-2014 (big PDF, careful), page #106, "SECTORAL ALLOCATION FOR 2013-14 *"
|Sector||In Rs Crore|
|1||Agriculture & Horticulture||4402|
|2||Animal Husbandry & Fisheries||1357|
|3||Home & Transport||5138|
|4||Rural Development & Panchayat Raj||7354|
|6||Women & Child Development||3350|
|10||Commerce & Industries||936|
|14||Health & Family Welfare||5293|
To be conservative here, let us pick only three "lucrative" parts of this budget that could bring "returns" to the winning party. Allocation for Public works, Urban development, rural development combined is about Rs 22329 Crore. 10% "malai" of this = Rs 2233 Crore. And remember, this is the amount from only 1 year's budget.
2233 Crore / 224 Constituency = Rs 10 Crores per constituency. Our number above was Rs 5 Crores. So, if the party/candidate gets lucky, the "investment" pays back for itself in less than one year.