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

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Shifting the Burden

Shifting the Burden WHAT the finance minister presented to the Lok Sabha this Monday is much more than a vote-on- account. It is in fact virtually the budget proper with only the proposals for fresh taxation missing. Thus, for instance, the proposals to reduce the major subsidies, including that on public foodgrain sales, and to raise capital receipts to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore through sale of 20 per cent of the government's equity holding in public enterprises to the financial institutions involve major policy decisions and it would be interesting to see, in the context of the commitment of the opposition parties after the resignation of the government to ensure the passing of the vote-on-account, what attitude the Left parties are going to adopt towards these measures. And because apparently this is, at least as far as the expenditure estimates are concerned, what the government had intended to be its budget for 1991-92, it exposes both the altogether limited extent of what the government was expecting to achieve in correcting the progressively worsening fiscal imbalance and the manner in which this was sought to be done.

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