Budget by the book

| Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 19, 2012

The Budget, presented by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, was a ‘Budget by the book'. Maybe, political compulsions and coalition dharma gave him no choice. It is true that he has set the growth target for GDP in the new fiscal at 7.6 per cent, while he has compressed the fiscal deficit from 5.9 per cent this fiscal to 5.1 per cent, even though he has set out a borrowing programme. He has been pragmatic. The venture fund he has created for SMEs is a welcome step.

The disinvestment of ONGC didn't yield much for the exchequer, except that money from LIC went to the coffers of ONGC. His ambition in fixing a target of Rs 40,000 crore from the sale of 2G Spectrum is far-fetched, while his disinvestment programme of Rs 30,000 crore looks a little ambitious.

In the coir sector, only Rs 14.40 crore was allotted to a scheme of rejuvenation, modernisation and upgradation of the coir industry, with 50 per cent outlay yet to be used. The rejuvenation and re-plantation scheme, which holds promise, got an extra allotment of Rs 2 crore compared to last year's Rs 30 crore. Growing sectors require help for a continuous period of at least a decade.

A. V. Ramanathan


Published on March 19, 2012
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