Breaking Views: Budget 2019 Reflects Modi Govt’s Desperation

The government has introduced schemes in the Budget to increase its vote bank, reflecting an underlying fear.

Updated
Opinion
1 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

Video Producer: Hera Khan

The BJP-led central government is prone to giving catchy names to its schemes, calling them ‘Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana’ and so on. In keeping with this tradition, the interim Budget presented on Friday, 1 February, should be called the 'Pradhan Mantri Vyagr-Vyakul Vote Prapti Yojna'.

In the government’s last Budget presented before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it has made attractive promises. Among others, small- and medium-scale farmers have been assured land up to two hectares and annual direct income transfers of Rs 6,000 each.

For the salaried class, while there is no change in the income tax slab, but a tax rebate has been announced for those earning up to Rs 5 lakhs per annum.

These are efforts to assuage two stress communities — the urban middle-class Indian and the farmers.

The attempts to introduce schemes for increasing its vote bank and using the Budget to solve issues only reflects the government’s underlying fear.

Moreover, another question has been raised. How will the government arrange funds for schemes that are likely to benefit farmers? There is no clarity on this since interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal did not provide any explanation while presenting the Budget.

The palliative treatment doled out by the government makes the distress points evident and contrary to what the Centre may say, this isn’t a model of ‘new governance.’ These are simply desperate measures taken in desperate times.

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