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

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The Policy Deficit

The Policy Deficit WEEKLYECONOMIC AND POLITICAL The finance minister would like the public at large to appreciate his budget as an investment budget, in fact, as an infrastructure budget. The basis of this claim is his proposal to leverage a Rs 2,000 crore budget expenditure in the current year into Rs 60,000 crore of investment over the next few years in assorted, but identified, infrastructure projects. Is this a case of knowing underfunding or a reasonably realistic proposition? There is no unambiguous answer. It all depends on how successful the government and the political class are in creating market structures for infrastructure, a task outside the budget. It needs to be asserted, however, that if market structures are indeed put in place for infrastructure, infrastructure building can indeed take off with budgetary outlays of the kind that have been proposed for 2003-04.

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