ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI-Intimations of a Wash-Out

NEW DELHI Intimations of a Wash-Out B M WHAT the Finance Minister and the Railway Minister did, after all, on the opening day of the new session of Parliament early this week was to ask for votes on account for four months, This set at rest the speculation that their so- called interim budgets might contain a general assessment of their problems and also some policy perspectives together with some specific measures. But they did nothing of the kind and chose to postpone discharging their responsibility till after the Assembly elections, This evasive exercise was, of course, laced by the overworked claptrap about the difficulties inherited by the government from the previous two governments and the mess that the latter had made of the economy. Ven- kataraman airily talked of evolving of a new "coherent medium-term strategy" by a Planning Commission yet to be constituted. It is, of course, easy to see that this process will take a long time to fructify and it is hardly likely that the Finance Minister will have this "medium-term strategy" by the time he is at last ready to present his full year's budget, It does not seem likely that it will be possible to formulate even a coherent annual plan, let alone a medium-term strategy embodied in A new Five-Year Flan, by the time he presents the budget. In the event, the coming financial year will be a wash-out so far as purposeful management and direction of the economy is concerned, Coming to the budget estimates, both the Finance Minister and the Railway Minister have attempted only to try to show the gaps between the revenue and expenditure to be somewhat ''reasonable", or, at least, smaller than what have been recorded in the current year

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