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

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Learning to Pay for Your Lunch

Shorn of statistics and verbiage, a budget document is most important as a signalling device. This premise is crucial to our treatment of the budget. Looking at the statistics and arithmetic in the budget for 1999-2000, the general impression which emerges is that the budget allocations do not conform with many of the commitments of the budget speech, particularly in the case of economic services - agriculture, irrigation, rural development and industries. For social services, however, the budget does seem to promise a somewhat better package. Of the lessons that need to be learnt and which are very much hinted at in the budget, viz, learn to let go and learn to pay, are of essence. Internalising especially the last of these lessons by the principals (the public) involves facing and resolving contradictions in their own actions. Unless we stop pointing fingers and realise that there is no free lunch to be had, no budget, however well formulated, can really achieve anything.

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