With less than twenty-four hours to go for the presentation of the Union Budget, all eyes are set on the Finance Ministry and subsequently on the corporate honchos for their expert analysis.
In 2014, Outlook studied what CEOs and the captains of industry have been saying about the budget over a period of five years. The period covered three finance ministers as well as two political dispensations. Funnily, it appears that "there's often little to distinguish between each of these pronouncements, filled up with catchphrases and blind praise, often completely divorced from economic reality."
CEO, ICICI Bank
2014 "As the decisions and plans are executed, I am sure the country will move back to a robust growth path." FE
2013 "The budget balances near-term priorities and long-term growth drivers." IE
2012 "The budget is a pragmatic exercise aimed at growth and stability in the backdrop of the challenging year gone by." BS
2011 "It recognises the long-term growth drivers for the economy and seeks to strengthen them further." BS
2010 "The budget focuses on leveraging the strong fundamentals for growth while committing to better fiscal management." HT
And here's another:
2014 "Overall, Arun Jaitley has made a good beginning and one looks forward to bolder measures...it is a budget on an even keel." ET
2013 "It is a pre-election year. Given these constraints, the FM has presented a sensible budget." TOI
2012 "The finance minister has assuaged the fears (of drastic measures) by presenting a reasonable, equitable and balanced budget." TOI
2011 Did not comment
2010 Did not comment
Needless to say, this leaves one wondering why the media gives so much importance to what India Inc has to say when they could just use what they said the previous year.