16 January, 2021

Bold Budget Or Bust

Expect a strong pro-reform budget; the BJP has nothing to lose

Bold Budget Or Bust

The first non-Congress (or Congress clone) budget will be presented on June 1. This will also be the first budget of India as a nuclear state. Perhaps not a coincidence—which is why the budget will be scruti-nised for its Vision, for its Signals about the future, and for its Policies (BJP’S VSP). A budget without vision is as prone to crashes as a plane without a navigator. Signalling is important for a sense of the present and the future. Policies are the net outcome—the bottomline, and that which affect the lives, fortunes, and misfortunes of a billion Indians.

An Anti-Reform Budget? Anti-reform policies embrace protectionism—government should increase import taxes in the name of a "level playing field" or swadeshi economics; endorse babuism—increase the role of the government in deciding where markets and production should go (a MITI-type approach); espouse higher taxes to justify either removal of poverty or infrastructure development; embody jingoism by differentiating between domestic and...



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