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Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
Outlook.com

Stuck At Medium Pace

Chidambaram’s first budget was strong on promises. The backlog weighs heavy on his second.

Stuck At Medium Pace
Stuck At Medium Pace
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

ON February 28, as Palaniappan Chidambaram rises to present Union Budget 1997- 98, he will have mixed emotions. Few had given his government more than six months, so he’ll be happy to be there. But he’ll also be a little sad because many of the promises he had so proudly made in the first Budget speech are foundering.

Then again, he may not. For he’s the man who told off global business in Davos that "this is our pace of reforms, take it or leave  it". And, secondly, as a senior finance ministry official puts it, "so far, his record of meeting Budget promises is unparalleled. He made 29 promises in the speech and has fulfilled all but one. The rest are quantitative targets, they’re not foolproof."

To be fair to the finance minister, he took a number of measures to spruce up the capital market and buoy corporates. He did not go back on the minimum alternate tax ( MAT ), but commissioned the central stocks depository, scrapped his plan for non- voting shares, introduced some amendments...

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