Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Budget 2017 - Lackluster

Today's Union Budget 2017 by Modi Government, presented by Arun Jaitley is lacking in sheen, brilliance and vitality. I listened throughout the budget speech but found nothing exciting. I couldn't understand why Modi & Co were clapping intermittently while Jaitley's smiles appeared highly artificial. It was just an attempt to balance revenues and expenditure and at the same time doling out insignificant concessions to lower class people who were subjected to monumental suffering, inconvenience and indignity due to politically motivated senseless demonetization which is quack advised failed exercise that achieved nothing but inflicted all round pain and destruction.
  • Contained all untruths, blatant lies and distorted facts.
  • Self aggrandizement statements far from reality.
  • Income tax concessions were meager especially to salaried class who stood by Modi blindly.
  • Increased MNREGA allocation is aimed at doling out sops to rural laborers who were hard hit due to DeMon especially to those in election states of UP & Punjab numbering over 8 crores.
  • Banks recapitalization of Rs.25,000 crores is grossly inadequate with NPAs in excess of Rs. 6 lakh crores.
  • Only symbolic & halfhearted steps to eliminate black money, corruption and political funding.
  • Increased rural spending even though essential but short of giving a big push.
  • Banning cash transactions above Rs. 3 lakh is difficult to enforce. 
  • Cashless transaction promotion sops are meager and hence it will happen at its own pace.
  • Increased liquidity in banks, consequent reduced interest rates is expected to increase credit flow but deposit withdrawals for better returning investments are likely.
  • Irrigation fund is meager. and serves no purpose.
  • Electoral bonds qualifying for tax exemption is atrocious. No political party is in public service these days. They just serve themselves.
  • Modi & Jaitley, in their 4th budget also has not provided any financial assistance for Andhra Pradesh in utter defiance of their obligations under AP Reorganization Act 2014.
  • What stands out in the budget is ... nothing stands out.
Arun Jaitley declaring that DeMon effects will not spill beyond this financial year is baseless, while economists predict that economic normalization up to Nov 8, 2016 level may well take over two years. Modi bankrupt with money as well as ideas, has no clue how to manage shattered economy, caused by his reckless DeMon. Going forward, reforms will take back seat, GDP & Growth will shrink, unemployment will rise, fiscal deficit & Trade deficit become unmanageable, crude oil prices inflicts injuries, development slows down, run away inflation etc ... will result in further downgrading of India's rating. India pushed back by several years is now a reality.

With this lackluster budget, nothing good is going to happen in 2017-18. If worst is escaped, India and Indians would be lucky, but miracles are only wishful thinking and never a reality. For political survival Modi transformed himself into pro-poor welfarist, which is a Congress party's mainstay, relegating reforms to back seat.

In India, those who pay taxes doesn't vote; those who vote doesn't pay taxes.

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