The Union Budget tomorrow is going to be the second Budget of the National Democratic Alliance government led by Narendra Modi in nine months.
The first one was presented in July 2014 by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after the Modi government was inaugurated in May 2014. Then, the government was just one month into the office, nothing to look back to take steps forward.
Now, nine months into the office, there are developments in retrospect that are needed to be factored in while looking forward. And there will be an intensified level of scrutiny therefore.
In addition to the regular factors affecting the state of the Indian economy, another major element that is going to have its imprint on Budget, is the talent pool of the economists inducted by Narendra Modi in key policymaking functions of his government.
It was already visible in the Rail Budget that focused on consolidating on what is there than to engage in economically insane populism. Sources say the team of experts including the Ministry of Finance Advisor Arvind Subramanian, the NITI Aayog chief Arvind Panagariya and the NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and the senior officials of the prime minister’s office played a major role in spreading out the policy concepts on the paper.
They are seen as free market experts believing in the primacy of the market to drive the growth and they are expected to follow the suit with the Union Budget.
We should be ready for a no non-sense Budget that would give enough of talking points, to the proponents, and to the opponents. If there has to be some space for populism, it is expected to be in context of the upcoming Bihar assembly polls later this year and the West Bengal polls in the first half of the next year.
But overall, it is expected to be a balanced Budget intending to kick-start the Modi’s vision of making India a manufacturing hub which can meet its requirements internally and at the same can acts as a hub of the export oriented global financial system.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–/