Union budget is pandemic management saga, says Dr N Tapan Chourey


The lessons of Covid-19 resonated in the third budget presented for the year 2020-21 by FM Ms. Nirmala Sitaraman. As the health crisis could trigger serious social and economic crises, overdue spending in the health sector ultimately increased by 137% with an allocation of Rs. 2,23,846 rupees in this budget. Besides the success of government policy responses to the pandemic, inherent Indian immunity has promoted Poshan 2.0 mission, Jal Jeevan urban mission, air pollution reduction and welfare measures. The economic pandemic received the vaccine from doses of infrastructure in roads, railways, airports, ports and other projects. Without a new post-Covid burden or new tax slab, the middle class is not affected but disappointed. The eNAM registration of APMCs and the 1.5-fold increase in MSP for additional crops are subtle signals to settle the farmers’ protest. The expansion of One Nation One Ration, the launch of a portal and social security for Gig and unorganized workers are policy responses to the migrant labor crisis. The creation of an asset reconstruction company to take over troubled loans, the increase in deposit insurance coverage to mitigate PNB-type crises and the proposal to decriminalize the law on limited liability companies of 2008 are measures to make the financial system robust and secure. The divestment of two PSB 74% FDI in the insurance sector and the IPO of LIC advance the privatization program. Faceless compliance, the very first digital census, electronic management and governance will improve the ease of living index, but the budget document stored in a tablet forgot to take into account the particular digital challenges that the educational scenario has been facing. faced during the corona crisis and the sector. settle in with the same traditional arrangements.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has been promoted through a variety of measures such as enabling the ease of doing business for start-ups through the provision of sole proprietorship, in addition to other incentives for MSMEs.

The current account surplus, first seen in the past seventeen years due to the impact of Covid on global trade, has been revived by increasing tariffs on imports of products such as telephones laptops, chargers, auto parts and clothing for the benefit of Make in India.

The expenditure of 4.78 lakh crore on the defense sector, the highest on record in the last fifteen years, complemented by the allocation of substantial funds to the Ministry of the Interior for the armed forces of the police and the training of bureaucrats, shows the priority that the government gives to the management of national conflicts and governance as well as cross-border issues.

With the visible transparency of the document by including the budget deficit and the honest admission of the absence of any extrabudgetary source, the monetization of assets will be an important avenue to seek as a source to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure.

Finally, as vaccine roll-out gains momentum and pent-up demand rejuvenates the economy, the implementation of this budget hopefully lives up to its core theme of saving lives and means of subsistence.

The author is professor of economics, GGPGC, Ujjain

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Posted on: Sunday April 04, 2021 12:43 am IST

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