Friday, March 20, 2009

a greener fuel subsidy

World over, fuel prices are a sensitive issue and almost in every country trasportation fuel is subsidised. But it has its own problems like sharing the subsidy burden, depletion of a fossil fuel, air pollution, etc.

Revamping the system of subsidies can do a lot to solve most of the problems. The following idea may be worth trying.

Instead of giving subsidy to all consumers, subsidised fuel should be restricted to operators of public transport and carriers of freight. All private vehicles should be charged rates related to the ruling crude oil rates converted to local currencies. Thus those who are using private vehicles will have to pay more or they may choose public transport to have cheaper rates.

The subsidy provided should be such that running the vehicles is more profitable than selling the fuel in the black market. To ensure this all vehicles may be charged the same price and those eligible reimbursed the subsidy subsequently based on distance travelled. The distance should be calculated scientifically based on parameters like route plied by the vehicle, fuel used, frequency of journey, etc.

Such a system will ensure lesser subsidy burden for oil companies, more efficient and cheaper public transport and lower inflation rates due to reduced freight rates. Moreover as more people use public transport, air pollution and traffic congestion will reduce considerably. Oil is a non renewable energy resource getting depleted fast and unless we consume it more responsibly, diesel and petrol vehicles will be soon off the roads.

Re writing rules of Cricket

Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainities and has always been a first to innovate and improvise. The greatest proof of this is additions to versions of cricket right from one day matches, day night cricket and to the latest blockbuster, 20/20.

Any innovation which makes it even more uncertain is always welcome.

May I suggest a couple of ideas.

What about removing overs per bowler restriction in one day and 20/20 matches? Its effect will be two pronged. Teams can accomodate more batsmen and you can have the likes Muralitharan or Brett Lee going for the throat of batsmen in full swing for 20 or more overs in a match.

Another idea is to compensate the bowling team according to the mode of dismissal of the batsmen. The most convincing modes of dismissal of batsmen are bowled, leg before wicket and caught by wicket keeper/slip fielders. So for each such dismissal, bowling teams can be given bonus runs. And dismissal of top order batsmen can be given more weightage to avoid over compensating bowlers for wickets in the slog overs of tail enders. This can be experimented for test matches also. Thus you can have the team batting second start with a score more than zero. Also imagine a batsman is dismissed clean bowled in the last innings of the match; automatically the target increases by the bonus runs the bowling team earns. So an idea worth trying.

These changes can help make the game more uncertain, more bowler friendly and above all more exciting to watch.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Power corrupts.
The moment so called communists and socialists get to power, their whole colour changes.
They are the ones deeper in corruption when in power compared to free market advocates and capitalists.

But there are a lot of organisations like Greenpeace which are crusaders for their ideology.

So how to get the ideology work through without corruption ?
Presently all democratic legislatures have ruling party and opposition party. To this I am adding one more, ie. independents.

These are parties like Greenpeace etc. who declare upfront that they will neither form a Government nor will they support them. But they contest the election and if they succeed what do they do?

They vote on all bills presented purely based on its merits and compatibilty with their ideology.
Thus we have a 20/30/40 man Greenpeace team in Parliaments voting for and against conservation and destruction.

This is just a thread which needs a lot of fine tuning to make it work.

To the list of Greenpeace we may add Art of Living foundation, Maoist revolutionaries, Marxists, Trade Unionists, etc. So imagine the change it can bring about.

Nowadays voters have to choose between devil or deep sea and nothing good. So this can be a real move forward.