Andy Mukherjee: Restoring federal balance | Business Standard Column

Andy Mukherjee: Restoring federal balance | Business Standard Column


This short, but excellent and revealing analysis of fiscal management has come at the right time. Right time, because the Finance Minister now preparing his first full-fledged budget has the option to factor in some of the suggestions made by Andy Mukherjee, at least in the policy statement he will be making through the budget speech next month, even if the content may not reflect in the projections about sources and uses of funds he may make for the year 2015-16.
For policy makers in Delhi, the replacement of Planning Commission by NITI Aayog is a god-sent opportunity to take financial planning to the states and finally to grass roots level. This a second opportunity India is getting after cooperative movement which the country did not take full advantage of.
The sustenance and growth of India as a country, in the long term, will depend on inclusive growth across geographical areas and vertically across the rich upper class, middle class and the majority which belong to the layer below these two by whatever name you call them.
The comfort is, if events from the rise of AAP in 2013-14 to Mann Ki Baat shared between Modi and Obama(broadcast of January 27) are any indication, awareness about all these is building up fast. The 2014-15 developments in this country need to be viewed in this perspective. Centre can ill-afford to miss this opportunity to bring ‘prosperous’ and ‘poor’ states on the same page by demonstrating the will to share resources equitably and to support economic development across geographies and populations.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram


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