Tag: Indian budget

Abolish Planning Commission

Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath has called Planning Commission an “armchair advisor”. On 5/7/2010 he publicly criticised the Planning Commission. He was not happy with its approach. He gave the example of Delhi Airport Terminal 3. He asked one official “How did you do it?” He got the reply “Planning Commission and their people had nothing to do with it.”

USSR had Five Year Plans. India imitated USSR. Planning Commission was established for Five Year Plans. It is time to put an end to Planning Commission and Five Year Plans. In a free market economy there is no place for such things.

Planning Commission’s projects have resulted in displacement of large number of people. There are delays and cost overruns. Factories turn white elephants. Many Public Sector Undertakings are making losses. Inflation increases.

Ministers who are unhappy with Planning Commission should speak up their mind. The country will be better off without Planning Commission. The money that will come from the sale of Yojana Bhavan will bring down budget deficit.

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Cut motion and government fall

Lok Sabha is in recess. Budget session will resume in April. Various parties have said they will bring cut motions against increase of petrol and diesel prices in budget. Government is firm in its refusal to rollback price hike. UPA allies have opposed price hike.
If a cut motion is passed the government falls. Many have commented that no party wants elections and cut motion will not be passed. Some parties may not like to vote with BJP. They are wrong. The unity shown by the parties on budget day may repeat. Left Front has said the price rise is not a political issue, it is a people’s issue. They will remind people that Congress voted with BJP to pull down V. P. Singh government. In politics there are no permanent friends or enemies.
It is not a question whether any party wants election or not. Sometimes things get out of hand. It happened in 1999. Just a year after election AIADMK withdrew support to Vajpayee government and the government lost the vote of confidence. Those who had hoped to form the government could not do so. Elections followed. The best laid plans of men and mice go awry.
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Budget 2010

On 26/2/2010 Pranab Mukherjee presented India’s budget for the Financial Year 2010-11. Since 1992 prices used to come down after budget or did not go up. This time prices went up. Previously prices used to increase 15 days before the budget or some days after the budget or during the year and the government of the day used to claim that there is no increase of prices in the budget.
Income Tax categories are broadened. Discrimination against men and citizens who are not senior continues. Direct Tax Code will be applicable from 1/4/2011 and broadening Income Tax categories was a step in that direction.
Prices of air conditioners, cars, cement, cigar, cigarettes, tractors, jewellery, refrigerators and television sets go up.
Prices of petrol and diesel go up. Opposition MPs walked out when this was mentioned. This was an unprecedented act in India’s parliamentary history. RJD MPs who are part of UPA joined opposition MPs. Opposition MPs should not have walked out during budget presentation. Was it spontaneous or pre-meditated? It seems pre-meditated and a sign of the things to come. Opposition MPs have chance to move cut motions against the budget. If all those who walked out vote in favour of cut motions the government falls. The government is free to roll back hike in petrol and diesel prices. Pawan Kumar Bansal said increase in prices was roll back of decrease in prices that had taken place when oil price had gone up. Perhaps BJP MPs walked out because two days ago Congress MLAs in Gujarat had walked out when the budget was presented. Other opposition MPs did not want to be left behind. BJP and Left Front coming together is not spontaneity.
Prices of food grains is a concern and budget has no control over them. Food is needed daily.
All people in India pay taxes, direct or indirect. Many taxes are going towards funding subsidies, public distribution system and poverty alleviation programmes. Any scheme where there is corruption should be abolished.
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