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Budget: Good or Bad?

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DQW Bureau
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So the much hyped budget came and went? Tell me honestly what was your first

reaction when you heard the budget? Mine was where were all the things that we

were expecting? The tax slabs had a minor tweaking, no major package for the IT

industry was launched. The first reaction was—what was the FM thinking?

I had hoped that at least the Budget would provide clarity on the various

taxes which have been causing serious heartburn in the channel. This time our

annual awards night for North India coincided with the Budget day so I did a

spot poll of first reactions on Budget. At the end of the evening I realized

that there were no clear answers.

While some partners were really happy with the budget and called it very

encouraging, others were clearly not enthused with what they had seen or heard.

There was also a small section which refused to comment saying that they would

rather wait for the notification before commenting. The next day papers were

full of praise for the brilliant political strategy that the Finance Minister,

who is a seasoned politician, had displayed.

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In the past few years we have become so used to seeing sops being doled out

to industry at large and middle class that this for me was good news. Not a

surprise mind you since the Congress for the last five years has been talking

about bringing in schemes for the aam aadmi. I know the skeptics within us

usually said that these were election pitching's and nothing beyond that, but it

was good to see that the Congress kept its word. For the last one year I have

been routinely trying to follow what the National Rural Employment Generation

Scheme or NREGS. My followings actually started because of an article that I

came across in my favorite weekly magazine about the positive change that the

scheme has brought in the lives of the laborers in Bihar and parts of MP, who

instead of now leaving home and hearth to find work in Punjab were able to eke

out a living in their own hometown.

I was happy to see that the government had actually pumped in a lot of money

not only in NREGS but also in many other mass welfare schemes. And you do not

need to be an expert at economics to understand that more employment at the

rural mass level means more money pumped into the economy.

So why were we all not beaming? Like an channel partner who I had a long

discussion with observed that we as people have high hopes about everything.

That we actually believe that now that the government has a majority, without

the backing of the Left parties, they will get out their magic wand and wipe

away all the problems. And in fact I do agree with him. There was no indication

from either the government or the FM that they would roll out all the things

that we were expecting. So maybe, it is time that we all realized that the

government was actually serious on following what they had outlined clearly in

their campaign. That for once if they are delivering on what they promised, we

should all actually be happy about it!

Shivangi Yadav


shivangiy@cybermedia.co.in

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