Jim O’Neill, who coined the term BRICs to highlight emerging economic powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India and China, said India’s budget lacked a “wow” factor but was good enough to push the country on a path of 8 percent growth or more “for a long time”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has the tough task of balancing the need to boost spending and maintaining fiscal discipline when he presents the annual budget on Feb. 28. Former Infosys CFO V. Balakrishnan says the government’s main priority should be to revive the economy by loosening up its purse strings and the country could live with a “slightly higher fiscal deficit.”
In his maiden budget, Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda said the bulk of India’s future railway projects will be financed through public-private partnerships and that his ministry would seek cabinet approval for allowing foreign direct investment in the state-owned network. (Click here for Rail Budget highlights)
To some, the parliamentary walkout by India’s opposition prior to the vote on the country’s annual budget motion marked the failure of India’s ruling Congress party to engage with its primary adversary, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over its claims that the Prime Minister had lied to parliament to protect his own reputation.
It has been a winter to forget for India’s ruling Congress party, as a series of corruption scandals have muted its ability to control parliament, dented its popularity ratings and dappled the formerly dazzling-white kurta of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.