02 December, 2020

Budget 2019: Govt Must Balance Macro-economic Concerns With Grassroots Issues

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has to seek solutions to macroeconomic concerns. But these need to be married with problems related to viable farm ­incomes, stress on the informal sector, largely small and medium businesses, and the struggles of the underprivileged.

Doling Out
Halwa ceremony to mark the beginning of printing of budget docs
Photograph by PTI
Budget 2019: Govt Must Balance Macro-economic Concerns With Grassroots Issues
outlookindia.com
2019-07-03T13:00:04+05:30

Now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proved his mastery over politics and his ­excellent grip on electoral strategies, his ­financial deputy, Nirmala Sitharaman, has a clear-cut job on hand. On July 5, when she presents the Budget, she needs to follow a single-sentence canon—look from above, act at the grassroots. Thus, as she fleshes out an economic ­vision and a five-year roadmap, she has to address the issues of the distressed sections—a top-down approach with bottoms-up objectives.

Sure, the finance minister has to seek solutions to macroeconomic concerns, such as slow growth, lack of jobs and government finances. But these need to be married with problems related to viable farm ­incomes, stress on the informal sector, largely small and medium businesses, and the struggles of the underprivileged. For once, politics and creation of vote banks have to be divorced from economics. The aggressive pursuit of targets has to give way to a focus on outcomes. Sitharaman has to bring in transparency in official statistics and realise that in...

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