No Budget boost

Indian masses, facing high inflation as well as alarming unemployment rates, had pinned high hopes on the Budget, but the annual exercise has let them down. Going through the Budget, one would not get the slightest sense of what the government plans to do to control unemployment. The Finance Minister also did not announce any rise in allocation to the two big flagship schemes — the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and PM-KISAN — that have the potential to boost rural incomes. The MGNREGS, in fact, saw a 13% drop in allocation when compared to the Revised Estimates. The impact of personal tax rate revision may be limited, given the withdrawal of exemptions. Besides, a small percentage of the taxpaying population is unlikely to make a serious enough dent on the fortunes of the entire economy. Revised fiscal deficit in the current year is 3.8% of GDP and the Budget estimate for 2020-21 is 3.5%. If a fiscal deficit of 3.8% could not prevent the economy from slowing down, reducing it will only aggravate the slowdown. To sum up, there was no measure to create wealth in the Budget, nor was there anything to generate an atmosphere of trust.

S.K. Khosla,




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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:31:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/no-budget-boost/article30729149.ece

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