Budget 2019 Sorely Lacks a Coherent Vision for Long-Term Growth – By M.K. Venu
The first budget of the Narendra Modi government 2.0 is very high on political rhetoric around empowering the poorest in ‘New India’, but does not have a clear road map of how a fully-funded welfare state will be sustained without a robust revival in growth, based on the twin engines of investment and consumption firing simultaneously.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made all the right noises, reflecting Modi’s pet themes of last mile welfare delivery, but there was no cohesive strategy on how growth will revive amidst a softening global economy and India’s own manufacturing and agriculture output trending downward for some time.
The budgeted revenue math is so shaky that for the first time the finance ministry has chosen to factor in receipts of Rs 90,000 crore from the RBI’s balance sheet as “surpluses”. That this is being done even before the Bimal Jalan committee has made public its recommendations shows there is a desperation to raise funds to meet the massive physical and social infrastructure needs which may help boost employment.…
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