As the process of formulating Budget 2011-12 began in right earnest, the Finance Ministry held Pre-Budget consultations with industry stalwarts and associations to get inputs and understand ground realities.
The ides of March may not have been as unfortunate as they were for Julius Caesar; however, they didn’t make any magic either. But then rarely do budgets meet expectations. ‘Politically correct’ is what all FMs aspire to be.
Will 2013 see renewed acceleration in projects becoming available for bidding? Will projects stuck in the web of permission get the green signal? Will the RBI finally reduce interest rates? Will the UPA government continue its drive towards policy reform? Let us first look at the reasons why 2013 can be a better year than 2012. We have P Chidambaram in the finance ministry, quite determined to reduce fiscal deficit.
The new year is all about going UP. If you're about to dismiss this as a wrong insight, given the dismal business sentiment with no graph headed in that direction, here's a clarification: the 'UP' being referred to is the state of Uttar Pradesh
It is crystal clear, right at the beginning of 2012, that inflation regulation has choked growth; policy paralysis has caused government expenditure to dwindle; the government is way behind all targets of growth; forex volatility, a blot from the blue,
The whole country is crying foul. Business confidence is at its lowest ebb. GDP growth is sliding to new lows. Fiscal deficit is on the rise. Exports are plummeting despite the currency’s free fall. Yes, the scenario is glum and the mood is depressed. I always manage to see a silver lining but today I am challenged. Our country is resilient but there is a limit to the stretch.
"It's not simply fiscal deficit. There are governance, trust, security and moral deficits," said Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, at a packed India Economic Convention in Delhi and summed up the deficit in the economic mood, the nation suffered.