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Editorial: Interim Budget by NDA Promises More Than a Regular Budget

Port Wings, 06 Feb 2019:

Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, who stood before the lawmakers inside the Parliament for “Finance Minister” Arun Jaitely, presented a well-crafted budget which will help the NDA in coming General Elections.

Though Piyush Goyal preferred to call it interim budget, it’s beyond the usual vote on account and annual financial statement presented in an election year like this.

Goyal’s maiden show within the Lok Sabha with his chaste Hindi and English rendition of budget speech has been received well all across the country. However, Twitter observed heated exchange of posts on the Minister completed failing to understand the fact that about 50 % of Indians does not understand Hindi and the budget may be meant for the Central Indian belt where he language is prevalent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also could not help but to break into a broad smile, walk up to Goyal and pat his newest stand-in finance minister.Home Minister Rajnath Singh followed suit with a big grin. Goyal, on his part, bent down to touch the feet of senior BJP leader L K Advani who readily gave his blessings.

The last budget of this government gave an insight into BJP’s thrust if re-elected for a second term. The eight point ‘vision statement’ promises to turn India into a $10 trillion economic powerhouse in eight years.

Contrary to popular notion, BJP government’s budget may not be populist though intended at pandering to its core constituency of voters that is now broad based and extends hugely to rural India.

Huge tax incentives and concessions provided through higher exemption limits, standard deduction, concessions’ to buy a second house have revenue implication worth a whopping Rs 20,000 crore next financial year.

Providing monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for both organised and unorganised sector workers with 50% contribution by the government again is sign of a maturing welfare state that practices free economy.

Admittedly, Piyush Goyal did not cross the ethical limit of presenting an interim budget and attempted to recast taxes for corporate sector, as it would have easily turned the whole process into question before the lawmakers from opposition benches.

However, the interim Finance Minister tried to play around the interim budget and presented his party, the BJP, an opportunity to face the May 2019 General Elections with ease.

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