We are into the new financial year beginning this April. The first full union budget was presented by the Finance Minister. By now, it has comprehensively been dissected by all those interested groups of stake holders, especially the haves with their network, to get more out of the system. The charge that BJP, the main party in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is a friend of business class has come to stay. Despite its anchors in TV debate and ministers and members of parliament making all kinds of noises for the government and its budget being people friendly, the perception that it has the interest of business and corporate houses, has really stuck. While there was not much for the aam aadmi to celebrate in the central budget for 2015/16, the expectation of exemption limit increase was bellied. But the increase in service tax is going to hurt across the board. Instead of dropping wealth tax, there could have been rationalization of service tax regime on, what traffic could bear principle. The 5% tax cut for corporate was, truly speaking, not needed. This is clearly a business friendly move. But more than, what was there in the budget, what was not there, should receive more attention. Social sector spending has been sadly reduced. Expenditure on education and health has seen reduction in allocation, which is patently wrong and bad. How do you get empowered and healthy youth from this cut Mr Finance Minister? Corporate sector has hailed the budget as path breakers. Thus, it was clear that the budget was meant for them. In a democratic set-up a government is there for those who cannot have lobby. All others, businessmen, industrialists, with their trade associations and chambers of commerce always represented their interest at government level even the organized labour has its built in protection to look after its interest. It is the unorganized sector which needs succour from the vagaries of uncertain nature and governance deficit. This budget cannot be hailed as aam aadmi friendly.
Month-in –Perspective has covered quite a few month’s happening with the comments it deserved.
Post Barack Obama visit to the country and his parting shot at India’s alleged intolerance of religious minorities and the subsequent remarks back in the U.S. has generated a debate in the country. Adding to the avoidable controversy was the New York Times editorial on the alleged silence of Prime Minister Modi. We have taken it up in the Focus to tell the NYT and its readers in the U.S and elsewhere that India is far better in its treatment of its citizens than the U.S., despite the fact that India is the most complex and bewildering country in the world.
Hope we have done justice to the subject on hand and that readers would find it worth their time. Rest are as usual. Please do revert with your inputs.