At a time when we are reeling under taxes, where we are paying for the largesse’s of the leaders, it comes as a surprise or envy even to know that Singaporeans are actually getting rewarded by their Govt as they have a situation of fiscal surplus! Can we Indians ever imagine a surplus? We all have grown up hearing only about Fiscal deficit; did not know that something like a fiscal surplus could also exist.
Singapore’s surplus for 2017-2018 is over Rs.47,000 crore and it has happened due to its statutory board contributions, mainly from the Monetary Authority of Singapore as well as an increase in stamp duty collections from a booming property market.
Thanks to the surplus, Finance minister Heng Swee Keat has announced a one-off ‘SG Bonus’ from S$100 to S$300 for all citizens. This means citizens with an annual income of S$28,000 or below will be eligible to receive S$300 (Rs14,000); income between S$28,001 and S$100,000 will receive S$200 (Rs10,000) and those with incomes above S$100,000, or who own more than one property, will receive S$100 (Rs5,000). Some 2.7 million people will benefit from this monetary gift.
Apart from this, the surplus, S$5 billion will go towards the Rail Infrastructure Fund, whereas S$2 billion will be put aside for premium subsidies or insurance schemes such as ElderShield, in an effort to offer financial aid to senior citizens with disabilities.
The Govt said that the bonus “reflects the government’s long-standing commitment to share of the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans”. Forget a surplus, even if we ever did, it is unlikely that we citizens will ever get rewarded in India.