oppn parties Budget 2021: Kickstarting The Economy

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
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Budget 2021: Kickstarting The Economy

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2021-02-02 02:19:11

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

For someone who has consistently criticized the government for not taking the initiative to invest to revive the economy, this correspondent finds that Budget 2021, with its "spend-spend" mantra, is an ideal Budget for these troubled times, provided the government manages to raise the resources and actually spends as proposed. 

Basically, one has to recognize that giving freebies in this age is not kosher. The need to put money in the hands of the people can be done in other ways too. Investment by the government to kick start the economy is one of the best ways. When the core sector starts getting orders production picks up and all sectors benefit. Jobs are generated and money starts flowing in the hands of people.

This Budget is going to do precisely that. By not imposing additional taxes (apart from cess on some sectors), the finance minister has ensured that money is not squeezed out of the people. By not imposing a "Covid tax" on the rich, the finance minister has ensured that wealth creation is not penalized. By holding the hands of startups for one more year, the finance minister has ensured that enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial drive will be supported. By allocating Rs 20000 for bad loans of PSB and announcing the formation of a "bad" bank, the finance minister has signaled that the problem of bad loans will be addressed this year.

By investing in infrastructure, the finance minister has ensured that growth prospects are enhanced. By investing in healthcare, she has ensured that India takes care of its citizens better and becomes more capable of combating any future pandemics. By investing in defence, she has ensured that the country's security concerns are addressed, especially as China seems bent on acting aggressively. Finally, by investing heavily in agriculture, she has shown that this government is not unmindful of the problems faced by farmers. All these investments will have a direct and positive bearing in reviving the economy and creating jobs.

But the government will have to act fast on the divestment promises. Last year, not even a fraction of the divestment target was met. The ambitious figure set for the next year can be met only if the government does things in a better way. If divestment targets are not met, funds will become scarce and promises made in the Budget might not be kept in full. If the government is able to generate the funds and invest in full as proposed, the economy will revive faster than most people think.