Take a Walk.......

Monday, February 26, 2007

Our contribution to the economy

Since the time I moved to pune around a couple of years back I travel a lot or in fact I have to travel a lot, in the midst of this traveling I have met quite a few interesting people and have been involved in some thought provoking conversations. One such event happened a few weeks back when I was traveling back Bombay on friday evening by intercity express. There was a group of old men sitting around me chatting on topics varying from their old time experiences to the problems that the country is facing today, mostly ignoring my presence. I was more than happy to be ignored as that gave me time to catch up with my sleep or the attempt at sleeping, which I am always short of considering my hectic schedules.

Somewhere one of the old guys realized that I exist near the window and my interrogation started, after the usual questions like my name, age, my job, the place where I stay etc. came the stunner, one of the old guys asked me what is my contribution to the country and its growth. I was quiet for few minutes as I wasn't ready for such kind of question. Assuming that either I didn't understand his question or probably mocking at me, He started explaining how these guys have worked all their lives for the country. They were all government servants who had spent their life in different government departments and army and now led happy and contented life with the proud feeling of having served the nation.

For a few minutes I myself thought what exactly is my contribution to this country? As with everything else these days, the thought dawned on me a bit late "I and people like me who work for MNC's and never give a thought to taking up a government job play a very important role in the growth of the country". In fact we produce the bread and butter on which the country runs, after all where do these so called public servants get their salaries paid, from the taxes that we pay.

Talking in simple terms an average Indian software engineers earns around $50K to $100K for the country in a year, of which he gets a $5K to $20K for himself. Assuming a tax rate of 10% to 20% that he usually ends up paying on his income comes around say $500 at the lower end to $4000 at the higher end. Considering all exemptions etc I assume the government would be earning not less the a $1000 per engineer in terms of direct taxes which is much higher then the per capita income of the country and we are not even talking about the indirect taxes, the money spent on housing etc.

After listening to a lot of such explanations some of the guys did agree that yeah after all this guy in the corner seat is not so worthless for the nation but its tough to change old mindsets as one of the remarked "But still there's not service better then serving the people of the nation". I don't agree that we don't serve the nation, in fact we provide a much better service to the nation then most of others do. So guys lets for once don't complain and be proud of what we do!!!

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