Of Ms Gandhi and Ms Sitharaman : Response to BS article

M G Wa rrier                              

June 19, 2019
Sitharaman’s Maiden Budget
This refers to A K Bhattacharya’s thought-provoking piece “Of Ms Gandhi and Ms Sitharaman (Business Standard, June 19). To the concluding question, “Could Sitharaman be expected to throw in more humour and wit during her budget speech?”, after going through some of the 15,000 plus suggestions from the citizens so far uploaded at the portal dedicated for the purpose, I have no hesitation in answering with a big “YES”.
Though only 8 months will be left  in the current financial year after passing of this budget, Sitharaman’s Budget Speech on July 5 will be indicative of the fiscal policy that will evolve during the coming 5 years.
Sitharaman is tasked with the responsibility of bringing clarity in government’s approach to resources management at a time when her own advisers may be speaking in divergent tones. The silver-lining is, as compared to 50 years ago, today India has a large domestic resources base waiting to be exploited. Illustratively, accumulated wealth in the form of real estate, domestic gold-stock, external investments including those from NRIs and  monetized wealth including agricultural income are all pockets which will contribute to the country’s economic development, if right approaches are made with positive signals.
Having said that, there is a trust and credibility gap which need to be handled on a priority basis. The gap has widened in the recent past on account of the negativism infused into the public mind, especially during the days before election. By a series of measures, it will be possible to redeem the trust in the financial sector, judiciary and other arms of government. Hopefully, some such measures will find a mention in Sitharaman’s budget speech on July 5.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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