The waning lustre of the Budget

The waning lustre of the Budget: The recent Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey conducted by Standard


13, 2016
has a role
This refers to the
article “The waning lustre of budget” (The Hindu, January 13). May be, the air of secrecy
in budget formulation is giving way to some amount of transparency and for a
couple of decades now, governments (both at Centre and in states) are not
waiting for annual budget exercise to change tracks in pricing and taxation policies.
But, as renaming of Planning Commission does not take away the relevance of
planning in economic development, the annual stock-taking that happens through
the budget exercise has its place in the overall management of public finance
in India.
Having said that, there
can be no two views on the need for a change in our approach to the whole
exercise of financial planning and budget exercise, if our resources
mobilisation and deployment of scarce resources have to yield the kind of
results in terms of economic growth and ensuring distributive justice. Poverty
alleviation (now poverty elimination) has been an avowed objective of
Government of India’s financial planning since the 1950’s. Planning and
budgeting have a significant role in taking the benefits of economic growth to
the needy. As history of several nations has shown, economic development alone
cannot sustain long term social security for the people. Government gets an
opportunity to make corrections in the financial planning exercise every year,
if only there is a will to use annual budget as an instrument for the purpose.
My perception is that there is more awareness at the highest level, now.
G Warrier
, Mumbai


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