Lacklustre budget - GulfToday

Lacklustre budget

Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman arrives to present the 2019 budget in Parliament in New Delhi. Reuters

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden budget is akin to a manifesto handed by politicians to voters ahead of an election — full of promises but no concrete plan on how those promises will be achieved (‘Indian budget to create a $5 trillion economy by ‘25’, July 6, Gulf Today).

The budget boasts of creating a $5 trillion economy but it lacks clarity on measures to meeting that target considering that India’s economy is far from being robust at the moment. There is agrarian distress, unemployment is at its peak, the economy is on the downslide and with Trump’s trade war on the up, external payments are a cause of major worry.

Prime Minister Modi has hailed it as a ‘new chapter for India’. But will it in reality bring about a new chapter for the common man? It doesn’t look like. Sitharaman proposed a Rs 2 cess on petrol and diesel prices to fund infrastructure development. Won’t this lead to further inflation and put a heavy burden on ordinary people?

To top it all there is nothing to crow about for expats like me, except that I will be able to get an Aadhar Card without the waiting period. Thank god for small mercies.

Ramesh Venugopal
By email

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