Broaden tax base, improve quality of public expenditure
I V Subramaniam
A decade or two ago, the budget was an important event for traders or speculators as it allowed them to trade significantly as announcements came in. Fortunes were made or lost, on this day as bets were placed on predicting which companies would do well or which industrial families would do well based on their connections with those in power. Newspapers reports suggested that lobbying, influencing the government or the ministry seeking benefits were common. Competition was killed and competitive wars were fought through budgets. Any increase in indirect taxes had a huge influence on the fortunes of companies, and often it was rumoured that business houses would influence the government to raise indirect taxes for competing products or competitors. Similarly making imports cheaper was a tactic often used to kill competition.
Speculation as to which group or industries would benefit offered huge opportunities for investors to trade in a stock or group of stocks.
In the late 1990s, with the alignment of indirect taxes into a few simple rates as opposed to the myriad different rate slabs we had earlier and reforms to reduce the cascading affect of taxes on raw materials, the chances of speculating have reduced. The budget therefore was an important financial event to look forward to in the past but has become less important in today’s environment. However, the budget continues to be important from a nation building
Be the first to comment.