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Budget 2015 Expectations: E-Book

On the 28th of February Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the first full budget of the Narendra Modi led NDA Government. Mr. M.R. Venkatesh, Chennai based Chartered Accountant, has attempted to address, through his scintillating series on the Budget 2015 published as an e-book titled ‘#Budget 2015: What India wants’, the question as to

    “How must the Finance Minister navigate his way through the challenges and what path must he chart for India through his Budget 2015?”

There are 30-odd Islamic Republics world over. Not one provides subsidy to its citizens for travelling to Haj. We the Secular Democratic Republic of India does it. Constitutionalists who otherwise quote our sublime Constitution at the drop of the hat when it comes to pontificate the majority community remain silent on this Constitutional perfidy by the Union Budget year after year.

There are 30-odd Islamic Republics world over. Not one provides subsidy to its citizens for travelling to Haj. We the Secular Democratic Republic of India does it. Constitutionalists who otherwise quote our sublime Constitution at the drop of the hat when it comes to pontificate the majority community remain silent on this Constitutional perfidy by the Union Budget year after year.

Planning, determining input costs and monitoring the functioning of the industry in these days of liberalisation and globalisation? With such cluttered thinking, archaic vision and muddled thinking can it deliver? No wonder India’s total export is approximately USD300 billion when China exports approximately USD300 bn of textiles alone!

Approximately two-thirds of India’s GDP originates from what is loosely called informal sector.  Importantly, 90 per cent of our non-farm work force are employed here. This is one of the highest in the world. Yet, this informal sector rarely gets policy traction.

Will Budget 2015 provide incentives, plans and programs for individual states to become self-sufficient in food production?

 

It is easy for the FM to say [as did the UPA] that the share of manufacturing in national GDP in 2025 would be in excess of 25 per cent. But as UPA realised it is easier said than done for what is required is a comprehensive plan with great attention to details and implementation.

The Billion Dollar question – Will Budget 2015 provide us the comprehensive plan to ensure Make in India initiative is a success?

Will Budget 2015 slay the monster of inflation? Will it significantly lower fiscal deficit? Crucially, will it make India an efficient economy and hence an attractive investment destination?

A retired bureaucrat and a good friend of mine had a wonderful annecdote to narrate. Having been served a notice from the Deputy Commissioner Income Tax, my friend – at that time a Secretary to an  unimportant department of the Government of India – sent his personal secretary with all details [most of which were innocous] on the appointed date to meet the Income Tax authority. The personal secretary was surprised to see that his boss was not the only person who had received notice from the said Deputy Commisoner as quite a few personal secretaties representing their respective bosses were also present there. Made to wait for a few hours, the personal secretary complained to his boss who even as a Secretary, Government of India, could not do much at that point in time.

Budget 2015 – Income-Tax laws need simplifying

There are vested interests who would prevent simplification of Income-Tax law. And even if simplified, given years of training, our lawman cannot resist complicating matters all over again.

 

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