It’s a laudable effort that often gets more brickbats than bouquets. This year, when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union budget in parliament on February 26, he will walking a tightrope between managing ballooning fiscal deficit and supporting economic recovery in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
Expectations from the finance minister, as always, are high — people and corporates want more in their pockets. There has been no let-up in the rise of food prices and most middle-class families still have to wait for annual sales to get branded products home.
In other words, the nation would like to see changes in tax rates, consumables getting cheaper and credit continuing to be available easily.
When the world was teetering on the brink of recession, the UPA government had introduced three stimulus packages of tax cuts, higher spending on public projects and increased liquidity in the financial markets through an easy monetary policy of the Reserve Bank of India. These policy measures helped shore up India’s faltering economy and put it back on a growth path.
The incentives which were passed on to some sectors of the economy are still in place and experts say it is time for a gradual withdrawal.