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Tuesday, Oct 19, 2021
Outlook.com

Old Hat, And A Missing Dog

Right noises, honest numbers can’t save the budget from weaknesses

Old Hat, And A Missing Dog
Illustration by Sorit
Old Hat, And A Missing Dog
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Almost all media and businessmen quite unanimously praised Pranab Mukherjee’s 2010 Budget. The finance minister said he had three basic challenges: to revert to high GDP growth, eventually to double-digit figures; make it inclusive; and transform government systems and institutions to improve public delivery mechanisms. He mentions double-digit inflation as having gathered momentum since the flare-up of global commodity prices before the financial crisis in 2008, accentuated by erratic monsoons and drought that reinforced the supply side bottlenecks in some essential commodities. This has now set up inflationary expectations that are being transmitted to other non-food items.

This was a politicised explanation to cover failures and, especially, the important ministries with Sharad Pawar—agriculture, food and civil supplies. The deficit has been a worry for many UPA years. Pranab has been transparent about the numbers. These deficits created a wash of liquidity and must have pushed up prices. Pawar talked up global commodity...

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