Supply and demand

When the relation of supply and demand gets disturbed, it brings chaos in the price, according to the theory of economics. In order to rectify this, some major steps should be taken. It’s not rocket science.

For a layman’s understanding, if demand goes up, all you have to do is increase the supply.

Looks like our policymakers are not paying heed to this concept.

Hence, all government offices are witnessing management problems. With the pandemic igniting a lockdown, it was obvious that supply would be halted, and when it did resume, the demand really got on the higher side. This is where the policymakers’ knowledge should have come into play for bridging the gap between supply and demand for the convenience of the service-seekers.

I was at the transport department to pay my vehicle tax, and a new policy had been formulated for the convenience of the service seekers. However, it did not yield any positive results, instead it only made the situation worse. Paying the tax was cumbersome. I had to get a coupon beforehand.

Soon, I realised that the rationed coupons had already been distributed and had to come another day.

The policy read that the coupons would be distributed from 9:45 am, and only 300 would be given out per day. When I further queried with the people, they said that the coupon line starts as early as six in the morning.

With the tax deadline on the brink, I showed up the next day.

I calculated that if I got there at around eight, I should be able to fall in the allotted quota of coupons. When I reached there, I was shocked to see a crowd of people already standing in line.

With my fingers crossed, I too stood in line.

With much struggle, after waiting for more than three hours, I got a coupon. It read 289. I heaved a sigh of relief; it was a narrow escape. I felt sorry for many of those whose efforts went in vain.

I realised that nothing was working at the office there, not even the basic pandemic etiquette — from maintaining social distancing to wearing face masks. Provision of sanitisers and hand washing facilities seemed to be a far cry. When I was done, it was 2 pm, and still the helter-skelter of the day had not dwindled.

Why can’t policymakers mull over the basic theory that when the demand goes up, supply should be increased, which can be done by adding more staff and counters.

When all the information has been computerised, adding locations in every ward should not be a hard task.

No wonder the country is lagging behind on all fronts, as people have to spend so much of their time and energy just to pay their taxes.