1. Budget 2017 is a slap in the face of Manmohanomics followers, triumph of Modinomics

Budget 2017 is a slap in the face of Manmohanomics followers, triumph of Modinomics

Union Budget 2017 disappointed many, especially the opposition parties.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: February 2, 2017 2:19 PM
manmohan singh, union budget 2017, budget 2017, arun jaitley, narendra modi, p chidambaram, budget 2017 news, manmohanomics, modinomics, demonetisation, namo, mamo Manmohan Singh kept his verdict on the Budget reserved but wondered why Jaitley is so confident about the positive effects of demonetisation. (PTI file photo)

Union Budget 2017 disappointed many, especially the opposition parties. They expected Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to announce some big bang sops after demonetisation. Being seasoned strategists, both Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only avoided the sops-trap but left little opportunity for the opposition to launch a serious attack on the merits of the budget. Consider some of the comments that came from the opposition ranks.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi mocked the budget as “sher-o-shayari”. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed Jaitley’s Budget announcements as “controversial” She tweeted: It is “clueless, useless, baseless, missionless and actionless. Heartless. No roadmap for the country or the future from a government that has lost all its credibility.” Banerjee even asked, “where are the figures for Demonetisation?”

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kept his verdict on the Budget reserved but wondered why Jaitley is so confident about the positive effects of demonetisation. “(There were) far too many items (in the budget). It is very difficult to immediately react about the impact of this budget,” Singh was quoted as saying by PTI. “There is no indication as to what makes the finance minister convinced that demonetisation effect will be temporary and it will not affect the growth of the economy,” the former PM added.

The fact that Singh couldn’t give his immediate verdict on the Budget tells a lot about its merits which has been hailed by many economists for enforcing fiscal discipline. Interestingly, Singh’s comments on Jaitley’s previous three budgets were almost similar.

The former PM, who also doubles up as a Congress economist, had said in 2016: “There is no big idea except one, which was yesterday mentioned by the PM himself that the government plans to double the farmers’ income in next five years.” His comment in 2015 was: “My worry about the budget is that it has good intention but it does not have an adequate roadmap and framework to implement the initiative.” Singh had repeated the same in 2014. “Just like the railway budget, there are no specifics in this Budget..there are no road maps.”

While serving as the PM for 10 years before Modi, Singh had championed populism, so much so that India’s fiscal deficit jumped from Rs 126,912 crore to Rs 515,990 crore between 2007-08 and 2011-12. During the same period, India was rocked by a series of high-profile scams. Interestingly, Singh continues to be revered as one of India’s brightest economists.

In contrast, Modi government has shunned UPA’s populist approach to budget and opted for strengthening the Indian Economy with fiscal prudence and digital push. Budget 2017 has pegged fiscal deficit at 3.2% of the economy for 2017-18. In 2014-15, the fiscal deficit was 4.1%.

With the focus on creating enabling an environment for people by spending more on infrastructure, education and skill development, Jaitley’s Budget is a death knell for Manmohanomics. Modinomics has just begun.

(Inputs from agencies)

  1. Ankush Dey
    Feb 3, 2017 at 5:08 am
    Opposition including Dr Manmohan Singh need to understand that this govt is doing its best to improve the economic & citizens' situation. This govt is interested to give loans to people so they can start own enterprise instead of getting loan waiver as the only solution to Indian situation. MGNREGA was ineffective in the initial years while UPA was running it however NDA has made it a force to reckon with as it strives on developing infrastructure. In the past all Indian govt schemes where best utilised to leak money for the few however this govt is working on plugging those leakages - so someone saying that only oil prices supported NDA govt favourably will be an insult to their own intelligence, because focus on leakages resulted in crores of rupees being saved!
    Reply
    1. C
      Chavali
      Feb 3, 2017 at 12:33 am
      People have given more credit to Dr.Manmohan than to Late Shri.PV. He may be good for 1970s and 1980s his ideas are obsolete.
      Reply
      1. Ajay Joe
        Feb 2, 2017 at 7:48 pm
        How to make Budget... excel sheet or any software How is analytics doneOr is it just a Babu Job
        Reply
        1. R
          Raj
          Feb 2, 2017 at 8:58 am
          What is % of fiscal deficit in 2007-08 and 2011-12. what was the fiscal deficit amount (in INR) for the 2014-15. Can anyone pls share...
          Reply
          1. R
            Ram Mohan
            Feb 3, 2017 at 1:59 am
            No one can compare budgets of 2010-2014 and 2014-2017 because of the sheer differences in crude prices. That itself could make the entire difference. That said, this budget could have been bold toward job creation.
            Reply
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              Ruchen S
              Feb 3, 2017 at 8:14 am
              Fiscal consolidation from high of 5.0 during UPA to a low of 3.2 for 2017-18 in NDA is a welcome and confidence enabler for all citizens .Infact I feel that All citizens became aware that this was the USP/Roadmap of Fiscal consolidation , over 2-3 years as Fiscal Prudence. Result: Curbing runaway inflation and more purchasing power to the citizen.
              Reply
              1. S
                Sk
                Feb 2, 2017 at 4:17 pm
                It may be personal opinion of author. The author has not critically analysed the direction of economic development and outcome.
                Reply
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