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

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A Bonanza for Corporates

And a trickle-down approach to reinstating livelihoods will mean a K -shaped recovery.

Decoding the 2020-21 Union Budget: Bombastic Speeches and a Plummeting Economy

How can we reconcile the 2020-21 Union Budget’s bombastic proposals with the reality of a crippled domestic economy?

Grand Narratives of the Budget

In a bid to introduce point to point high speed rail systems the Indian Railways seems to have forgotten its core constituency. If the Indian Railways fails to provide inexpensive travel to all, it would be deemed as a violation of the constitutional guarantee of travelling freely across the country.

Budgetary Arithmetic, Fiscal Imprudence and Macroeconomic Implications

Notwithstanding the attempts made to undo the budget deficits initiating the fiscal reform process, the art of budget making in India is far from salutary both in terms of content, and macroeconomic and social implications. Given the political economy fundamentals (institutional constraints), the adherence to fiscal rules may, at best, contain the overall public expenditures through fiscal pruning measures, but may fail in addressing (i) the distributional effects of public expenditure policies, and hence, (ii) the composition of public expenditure.

Central Budget 2002-03 : Creating Public Discredit for Asset-Grabbing

Increasing the vulnerability of the lower-income groups, including the fixed-income middle class, is part of the strategy of global capital for grabbing their assets. And there are perhaps few governments anywhere which is prepared to pursue this strategy so callously as the one in New Delhi.

Bold Initiatives Needed on Agriculture and Rural Employment

The specific proposals of Budget 2002-03 for agriculture and rural development do not live up to expectations. There is need for bold initiatives on public investment, credit and creating incentives for private investment to revive agricultural growth and expansion of rural employment.

The Budget and the Economy

The budget is a collection of measures, disconnected maybe but not necessarily badly conceived. However, it does not amount to a serious stab at launching the economy on to a higher growth path, which is what the so-called 'second generation reforms' that the finance minister has harped upon in the past half year or so are meant to do.

Calcutta Diary

History marches on. Consider the colourless budget the union finance minister presented on the last day of last month. Even he could not but admit the sorry reality of the economy having come to a screeching halt.

Credit Policy: Beyond Expansionary Signals

There are clear pointers in the Budget for 2002-03 to the stance likely to be adopted in the credit and monetary policy to be announced next month. However, mere expansionary signals from the RBI through reduction of the repo rate and the Bank rate and through money market instruments will not be enough. The RBI will need to address structural disabilities and distorted commercial banking behaviour in response to financial sector reforms.

Indirect Taxes

The Budget for 2002-03 has done little for rationalisation of indirect taxes. The changes made are marginal and no structural reform of the type suggested by many economists, analysts and committees has been attempted. Doling out exemptions has remained the key consideration and we seem to be back to the itemby- item approach of the 1970s and 1980s.

Reform Fatigue

The unfinished agenda of economic reforms is truly large, overwhelming and in a sense daunting, but effort must be made to move forward at least in a few critical areas. The Budget for 2002-03 fails to deliver on this score.

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