One of the key challenges the country is facing and needs to be addressed is economic growth and unemployment, panellists pointed out during a discussion on Union Budget 2017-18.
The event was organised by VIT University and was moderated by S. Gurumurthy, Editor, Thuglak .
“From 1999-2004, India created six crore jobs. Post-that the number has come down to 27 lakh jobs despite economy growing,” he said. Mr. Gurumurthy also said that the role of Goods and Services Tax is going to create a lot of confusion in terms of administration, but the budget has not laid out any plans for it.
Mr. Sundara Rajan, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and N.K. Ranganth, Confederation of Indian Industry said one of the positives of the budget is increased focus on agriculture.
Palanivel Thiagarjan, DMK MLA, said the government has been depending on indirect taxes as source of revenue which is mainly regressive and that it should have executed the demonetisation plan better.
C.H. Venkatachalam, national executive member, CPI, criticised the budget saying that it does not provide any relief for people who have suffered due to demonetisation and also silent on the issue of tackling bad loans and punishing wilful defaulters.
Venkatesh B. Athreya, retired professor of Economics and State Committee Member of CPI(M), said that advancing the budget announcement was a bad idea because the budget is presented only with economic data for two quarters, which does not give a clear picture.
E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, former Union Minister, said that the budget speech highlighted only key points and one needs to go through the entire document to get a holistic view.
Mr. Gurumurthy noted that one of the intent of demonetisation was to cut higher denomination notes which have inflated the prices of real estate and gold.
“The price of one ground of land in Chennai’s posh Boat Club was Rs. 14 crore before demonetisation. Now it is come down to Rs. 7 crore and there are no takers. Similarly gold prices have come down. So one of the objectives was to bring down the black wealth.”