A for Annual, B for Budget

It is that time of the year again. The time when the joy and the happiness of the festive season slowly fades away into restless pacing and poring over long ledgers of seemingly meaningless numbers and figures. The time when every businessman is wondering what the government will announce. It’s the time for the Annual Budget. And this year might just prove to be different. India is making rapid strides on the path to being a developed nation. At least economically speaking. And with the world’s most powerful economy (the U.S.) in a bad shape, Mr. Chidambaran will be under tremendous pressure to deliver a sound yet viable budget.

Here are some of my expectations for this year’s budget:

There is no doubt that India is gaining steadily as an independent economy. Thanks to the IT sector mainly, there is talk of us being among the superpowers within a few years. Hence it is very important for the government to announce a moderate budget that keeps our rate of growth constant and yet at the same time does not fail to remember the vital areas which still need to be addressed. The recent slump in the US economy and the steadily gaining rupee has left to a lot of IT firms groaning. Because they get most of their business from there and they are paid in US dollars, their revenue has been reduced drastically. As a result most of the tech giants are already beginning to cut losses by offloading employees. I would like some sort of provision in the budget that helps these companies to keep the revenue flowing. The IT sector is a very important one for our country – specially given our experience and our resources. If we are to make big strides it is important for us to be completely financially independent in this sector so that we can progress.

Last years saw some of the most violent controversies erupt over the SEZ’s allotted by the government –  Nandigram being one. It is important to realize that India is still largely an agrarian economy. It is not viable for the government to allot areas on prime fertile land meant for agriculture so that industries can be set up. Given the fast growing population that we have it does seem to be the best option. However the farmers should be more than amply compensated for their long term losses (and not just financially). I hope this year’s budget does look into this matter. Finally come the main areas where the budget has always allocated crores of rupees with nothing to show except revenue deficits. These areas include poverty alleviation and power generation among many more. These two are the main reasons why we are still termed as a developing nation.

Poverty alleviation is a big term and a bigger ask. Many governments have tried and failed miserably to tackle this problem. Some have never gone beyond the announcing of grand schemes stage. It is important to try our best to cope with this for until every man is above the poverty line, we will never be able to fulfill all of our dreams. Power generation is another area which can prove to be very lucrative financially and economically. With a number of small and medium companies beginning to take interest in power generation, the government would do well to allocate funds to take care of this issue. This might prove to be profitable while at the same time help us in eradicating out power woes.

Every year we have our hopes and our dreams. Many remain that after the budget has been announced while others do come true. However this year I hope, with our economy in the state that it is in, Mr. Chidambaran will do his utmost best to try and tackle these issues among others.

Budhaditya Banerjee