FM Sitharaman’s visionary budget
Around a 1000 point fall on the Sensex was a knee-jerk reaction on budget day by market participants. FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s hands were tied amidst the economic slowdown, rising fiscal deficit and the dwindling resources which makes a balancing act to budget nation’s assets and liabilities all the more difficult. The tax liabilities of most citizens would rise in the coming days but that is small sacrifice one should readily accept to see our country grow and progress for future. Indian citizens enjoying tax holidays abroad comes under the tax net but is it not their duty to contribute for nation building if they prefer to keep their Indian citizenship status intact?
Bold divestment programmes incuding LIC going public as well as government selling some stake would generate unbelievable revenue for it to undertake enormous infrastructure development that would generate lot of jobs apart from aiding business and industry. Sitharaman’s budget seems visionary but a lot depends on the execution part which is difficult as politicians make promises which are seldom fulfilled. PM Modi and FM Sitharaman should form an top level committee of India’s top economists which should guide the nation so that whatever promised in the budget can be executed in future. It is difficult to please all in the budget and citizens should stand united when it comes to nation building even if some sacrifices are required.
Mumbai 24×7 gets a tepid response
Aaditya Thackeray’s grandiose plan to keep Mumbai open 24 x 7 has got a tepid response from all quarters. The idea hasn’t yet got into the system of shopkeepers around the city because they are wary of the future outcome; cinema hall owners too are wary whether they would get enough audience for the late night and the early morning shows.
Coming to the malls, while they are ready to implement the idea, but the shopkeepers inside are not yet ready as they feel that they would not be able to get enough resources to keep them going. Now, the last and vital point, both the BEST and the railways have not made up their mind whether to keep their services going all night.
Then what happens to the plan to keep Mumbai open 24×7? It is up to the government to make necessary arrangements to keep the city going all night to the fulfillment of all.
Allocate funds for MNREGA
It is bad to hear that the Centre is on the verge of running out of funds for the crucial Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. In fact, the situation on the ground may be worse as States do not always enter pending payments into the information system. While there is a high demand for work this year as the rural economy is in distress and informal employment has also collapsed.
M Qasmi Nadwi
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)