Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Great Indian Budget Exercise

Only in India budget exercise  work up so much emotion, passion and enthusiasm. So many experts sit on TV studios and keep on dishing out their nuggets of wisdom about what should be and what should not be. However, people remain where frozen as they were year before and may be sixty years before. 

Common sense dictates, a budget should balance what we earn and what we spend plus what we save. Budget reflects the political philosophy of the ruling party. A budget exercise should be based on year by year small steps that culminates into overall growth, prosperity and well being of country. However, budget in Indian democracy reflects the mindset of politicians about how to stick to power by giving sops to voters. They will never advice or educate voters about the real situation but promise free electricity, free fuel, free meals, etc. But where will the money come from? Moment this question is asked, another bunch of million people will standup and confuse issue by making statements like why subsidise corporates, why not stop scams etc. We fail to realise, corporates create jobs. If you create proper business climate by encouraging free enterprise, then corporates will create more jobs that will benefit common people. Moreover, in this environment, small businessmen will also prosper because they can do business without fear or favor.

 About scams and corruption, what stops us from catching corrupt people. We have not created proper machinery that can catch , prosecute powerfull crooks and put them behind bars. Even sixty five years after independence, common Indians cannot get any government job done without paying a bribe. A common Indian cannot get a government service, which incidentally is their right, without the backing of money or power. So whether we get a big band budget or no lack lustre budget is anything really going to change? A good budget may make industry prosper and some may trickle down to common man. However, what do we do with maximum billionaires, where majority of Indians are malnourished, do not have access to healthcare, education, drinking water, basically anything that is needed for a life of dignity. 

An ordinary budget will be bad in long term for the country, but who cares. A sensible budget should be that builds on last year and year before to make Indian econoy sound, brings about economic and administrative reform that makes lives of ordinary Indians better and safer.No finance minister can do miracle in a budget. He needs to work on a plan year on year and build an economy that is robust yet just over a five year period. 
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