13 April, 2021

Party Games, Corporate Woes

The Budget clears the parliamentary roadblock, but the economy is still hostage to the men in khadi

Party Games, Corporate Woes

AND so the Finance Bill was passed on Thursday, April 22, by a special session of Parliament even though there was no government, effectively, at the time and the country heaved a sigh of relief. Thank god for small mercies!

For this was a Finance Bill that has many firsts to its credit. For the first time, Parliament was forced to be adjourned two days before the budget was to be debated. For the first time, the Finance Bill was passed without a discussion—though not without much acrimony on Wednesday. And one still doesn’t know whether this historic Budget will stand the test of time—the incumbent government will have the power to tinker with or even overturn it.

Perhaps also for the first time, corporate India is turning up its nose in disgust at the way political interests have overridden economic necessities for the fourth time in three years. "I wonder how many of the 543 legislators can differentiate between the Finance Bill and a vote on account. And for those who are economy-savvy, its even worse; they just don’t give a...

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