Find benefits of Budget and fight for more
It has been six years since the BJP-led NDA government came to power in the country.
It has been six years since the BJP-led NDA government came to power in the country. The NDA government, one should understand, had brought in a paradigm shift in its approach towards budget.
The NDA government had done away with the concept of making State specific announcements. It has brought in the concept of 'Sub ka Saath, Sub Ka Vikas' and in its second term added 'Sub ka Vishwas' and called the 2020 Budget as 'Sub ka' budget.
It also does not believe in having the so called flagship programmes in every budget. In the Budget 2020, the government had woven its proposals around three main concepts - Aspirational India, Economic Development for All - giving more space for private sector - and Caring Society.
It is surprising that people who matter and are part of executive in the two Telugu States failed to acknowledge this aspect and came up with instant political reaction to the Budget and rued that nothing has been given to the States, there is no mention of various projects or allocations to the State etc.
It is time the politicians particularly those who are in power, read the fine print of the Budget and come up with practical reactions. It was surprising to hear some MPs from AP saying that there was no mention of Special Category Status to the State.
All of them very well know that it is a closed chapter and there was nothing they could do to make the Centre to accord the special status. They know it is a case of apply no reply.
Some senior MPs from Telangana say that the Finance Minister has not mentioned anything about Kaleshwaram project etc. Some even called it a 'deadpan'. They apparently did not hear Nirmala Sitharaman's words clearly or they were playing to the gallery.
She minced no words in saying that the Budget has not been worked sector-wise, but it was a broad one. No one spoke about the context before the budget was presented. Economy had slowed down. There was fall in credit flow, there was need for growth boost.
Against the backdrop of such a situation, the budget making team perhaps thought that there was need for the 16-point action plan which could aim at modernisation and usher in agri reforms. The new IT slabs and taxpayer charter would help in enhancing the trust between taxpayer and the government. This is what the FM had said.
She also minced no words when she said the government wants to do away with all deductions in IT in a phased manner. Industry majors like Sunil Mittal feel that the support for wealth creators will be a great boost to entrepreneurships.
Economic experts like Dr C Rangarajan, former RBI Governor, also feel that the budget in its totality was a well-intentioned and outlines the multiple objectives it seeks to achieve.
Though the fiscal deficit has gone up to 3.8% which is more than the mandated 3% of GDP it can be condoned given the need to raise government expenditure to stimulate demand, Rangarajan commented. In other words this budget has the potential to ensure increase in private investment.
While that is the overall scenario in nutshell, as far as the States are concerned, programmes like promoting horticulture which had exceeded the production of food grain sector and special focus on fisheries sector, promoting solar energy in farm sector and developing 100 airports can help the States in employment generation and the tourism sector, in turn would help in mopping up better revenue.
The politicians and the economic pundits within the political parties whether it is Opposition, or the regional parties should analyse the proposals with an open mind and see what would benefit them and fight for more.