This refers to the editorial “Power Populism” (February 13). This has been written in the context of power subsidies being given in Delhi and in West Bengal. I do not agree that giving power subsidy
is populism. All subsidies are not economically undesirable. All countries, even the developed ones, give it. In England, orphan children or those who have lost one parent, are given subsidy to sustain themselves. They give social security benefits in different forms. In all countries, subsidies are being given to bridge inequality. Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee
has argued in favour of putting money in the hands of those having Jan Dhan accounts.
Subsidy has been given to the passengers in Konkan Railways and different suburban metro railway networks in the form of exemption. That is not criticised since it is not transparent. Transparent subsidy is better than hidden subsidy. West Bengal is wasting electricity by excessively illumining some of the streets leading to the airport in Kolkata. If this electricity is diverted to small consumers, that will be useful and economical.