" 'Dream' Budget- Version 2.0 The Way Forward"


" 'Dream' Budget- Version 2.0 The Way Forward"

by P.T. Choudary, Chairman IDEAz


Quotations for consideration:

  • “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else." - Frederic Bastiat. (1801-1850)
  • “If economists knew what they were doing, they would have all been millionaires.” – Anon
  • “An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday did not happen today.” - Laurence J. Peter.
  • “Economics is not a science and shouldn’t be there to advise policy.” - Ariel Rubenstein

Key Concepts:

The Budget should:

  1. Clearly specify the directive principles guiding Fiscal Policy.
  2. Layout the plan for its implementation in a stable and consistent manner over years.
  3. Encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and trade.
  4. Generate employment and financial growth.

A worldwide Gallup survey found that even poor people who live on less than $2/- a day worry more about jobs than food or medicine. Today what the whole world wants is a ‘good job’ and that is what leaders should make their number one priority. Given a ‘good job’ people can then seek to meet their other needs more effectively and confidently and with dignity.

Education must be designed so as to result in a good job, even for 7 th or 8 th class dropouts who could then attain to the required vocational skills.

Laws and Budgets should also be designed to encourage job creation and not just be populist for short term benefits.

A ‘Dream Budget’ cannot be an exercise in accounting, or an attempt to balance things taking a little from here and a little from there. It has to arise from a transformational or paradigm shift in understanding that the Budget is mainly a policy statement aimed at bringing about broad based general prosperity for all (Rural and Urban) across the Country and only next, a statement of projected revenues and expenditures.

A clear statement of ‘Aim’ - specifying the general directive principles and laying out the road map to be implemented in phases over the next 3 years to bring about prosperity to all, including the ‘Aam Admi’, will avoid controversy and misconceptions about policy. This will provide the stability and consistency required.

In the history of our Country, there has been only one ‘Dream’ Budget, that was in 1991 when the then Prime Minister, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao , made it into the history books as a Leader who visualized what needed to be done to start India on the path of once again becoming the ‘Sone Ka Chidya’ and called up on Dr. Manmohan Singh and Shri P. Chidambaram , as his Finance and Commerce Ministers respectively and with Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia in the Planning Commission, to lay down the policies to implement his vision.

It is unfortunate that after that, even though the same protagonists came again on stage and held the necessary positions, they were never again able to boost prosperity at similar scales. Perhaps Politics & Circumstances did not


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