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Budget 2013: High on expectations again

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Reuters)

It’s budget time in India once again, the annual month of anxiety and expectations that everyone awaits with bated breath.

Budget 2013 will be especially important on two counts. Coming as it does ahead of crucial state elections, the Feb. 28 budget could be outrageously populist. But with the government not really following through on its policy reforms in recent months, the question is how intent can translate to concrete action. Tough decisions are needed with a greater focus on growth.

While Finance Minister P. Chidambaram visited Singapore as part of a four-city tour to woo global investors and boost capital flows into India, he did little to convince the corporate sector in the country to make additional investments.

The government may be going out of its way to attract foreign direct investment but it has to do more to gain the confidence of local businessmen and turn around the investment cycle. Which is why this year’s budget is important.

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