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Tuesday, Oct 19, 2021
Outlook.com

The Khaas Aadmi Budget

It’s time people got—or took—direct charge of budget-making

The Khaas Aadmi Budget
Illustration by Sorit
The Khaas Aadmi Budget
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

In a euphoric moment, when the country was celebrating Sachin Tendulkar’s double century in ODIs, Pranab Mukherjee, finance minister and International Monetary Fund’s governor-designate for India, presented his budget. And we might say, “It’s not cricket!”

In a non-election, no-risk year, he announced the following important news for his fellow countrymen. (1) Rich Indians will get Rs 26,000 crore of tax break in 2010-11; (2) food subsidy for the poor will be decreased by Rs 424 crore; (3) fertiliser subsidy for low-income farmers will be pared by Rs 3,000 crore; and (4) real estate magnates and hotel owners will get huge tax concessions. Then, he announced even more important news. In an already high-inflation situation, petrol and diesel prices will be increased. Everyone knows what that would do to the urban/rural poor and lower middle class.

Major corporate media, following a new-found, ‘successful’ US model, praised the budget. They said that following the announcements, India’s...

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