16 Union Budget 2018 - CA Gavin d'souza

posted Feb 8, 2018, 6:31 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Feb 8, 2018, 6:31 AM ]
The annual exercise of the government to announce its Gudget for the fiscal year was brought forward to February 1, 2018 to paint a rosy picture, giving itself a pat on its back for the economic governance of the nation with an eye on the forthcoming elections.

This budget is replete with sugar-coated promises to highlight its concerns for the people, which in fact seems realistically implausible. The Budget claims that it will implement strategies that would benefit Agriculture and the Rural economy, Health, Education and Social Protection.

Mention is also made of providing after-harvest services and off-season employment to the rural farm households that continue to appear only on paper. The reality is that the rural poor still reel under heavy burdens of the benefits of government policies and programmes of not having reached them. This only gives the government an opportunity to continue such programmes that do not bear much fruit.

The Budget statement highlights the need for higher education or even technology-based education, without any outlay for primary education in its basic form. It appears that the need for basic paper and pencil and blackboard education which can bring, and has brought, upbringing of the masses is being sought to be dismissed. The role of Premier Educational Institutions and Institutes of Eminence, in the Budget outlay must be given a specific role to ensure that the benefits, either directly or indirectly, flow to society at large.

How many more resources should be dissipated in the name of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, only to be swamped in a mire of filth?

The Budget once again claims that it will provide affordable housing to the common man, but on the other hand, many housing projects are pending, and housing units left unsold for whatever reasons. Builder entities are increasingly becoming non-performing assets.

It is not clear how the Budget aims to promote Self-Help Groups of women with loans, which itself can make the group accustomed to seeking financial assistance, rather than promoting the culture of work.

Concern for the health of every Indian is a laudable feature. It must ensure that this concern translates into working healthcare for the rural masses and the weaker sections of society with affordable and easily available facilities at the place and time required.