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Mar 01, 2013 at 06:17pm IST

In the present context, this could be the best possible Budget: Ashutosh

Is the Budget 2013-14 drafted, keeping the 2014 general elections in mind? IBN7's Managing Editor Ashutosh shared his perspective in an interaction with IBNLive readers.

Q. Isn't this budget is more like "I won't promise and I wont deliver". Asked by: Jack

In the present context, this could be the best possible Budget: Ashutosh

Is the Budget 2013-14 drafted, keeping the 2014 general elections in mind?

A. I think this is a balanced Budget.

Q. Do you think that these people has lost learning curve, idea of implementation of new things, technologies and hence can not deliver what is minimal expected. If we look at other countries they invested into problems, failures, lacuna and hence they could come with new frames which we are missing in our systems and that is why they are making progress and we just rely on their market, money, investment and hence such reflections in the Budget. Asked by: Subodh Deshpande

A. Indian system has its own way of doing things. Indian economy is going through a rough patch and it needs tough measures to get back to fast track but politics has its own compulsions and budget and economy has to take that in consideration.

Q. This was a good budget not looking for politically brownie points in the pre-election year. however, is it to ensure that the next govt (which surely wont be Congress led) also do not go in for a populist budget and they have set the agenda for financial recovery which of course is a good thing? Asked by: AKS

A. I agree with you that being an election year it requires different kind of treatment and management but next govt will not have same compulsion as that will not have to go to elections immediately.

Q. Do you think that meaning of budget, Parliament sessions is becoming less important and hence such kind of democratic rituals, democratic road shows, stage shows are performed. In short, no one seems to be serious about implications. Asked by: Subodh Deshpande

A. See we have to understand that budget or central planning loses it meaning once we accepted market economy . So with economic reforms in full swing , market starts dictating policies and requires immediate solutions . No wonder major policy decisions have been announced even before budget has to be presented like deregulation of diesel. So obviously budget will not be as important as it used to be.

Q. Given the absence of any populist measures in the budget, don't you think that the UPA is confident of completing 5 years term without any hiccups? Asked by: Shyam Vadalker

A. It's not about confidence but about compulsions. If economy goes down then govt will have lot of questions to answer. Now paradigm has changed. Good economics is good politics is the mantra . Many state govts who did well in economics has done well in electoral terms too. Even in 2009 Manmohan govt came back because economy was booming and ran 9 per cent growth. So this time also UPA can only survive if growth swing is upward.

Q. Hi Ashutosh, I see a positive vibe in the industrialists today. But I really don't understand how could this budget be called good. We are encouraging FII but at the same time increasing costs on everything. How will this help? Investors from outside may invest, but who will buy? Why don't we understand India is a consumption driven economy? Isn't it better to grow as a stable economy than like this? Asked by: niki

A. Democracy has certain compulsions and it has to be seen to be taking certain welfare measures despite constrains . This budget has tried to bring back fiscal discipline if it has to gain momentum.

Q. Your answer quote say "we have to understand that budget or central planning loses it meaning once we accepted market economy. So with economic reforms in full swing, market starts dictating policies and requires immediate solutions. No wonder major policy decisions have been announced even before budget has to be presented like deregulation of diesel. So obviously budget will not be as important as it used to be". Agreed entirely, do we have system for that and when we do not have any system in place, does this mean we should put on hold on process improvement of our democratic system? Asked by: Subodh Deshpande

A. What I mean to say is that there is system but this system has different dynamics than earlier one. New system has to work in a democratic set up which India specific and both have to adjust accordingly for the betterment of overall system.

Q. Is government clueless on future direction and that is why not taking risk. Asked by: Subodh Deshpande

A. It's a complex question. Global economic scene is not good for last many years, there was policy paralysis and serious corruption charges against govt and leadership was also wanting. In this context govt off late realized if they don't move , they will be doomed. And now they have to face elections, in this context this could be the best possible Budget.

Q. Do you think that there should be a common minimum program across the nation, accepted by each of the party(NDA+UPA) and then we should track down the results as per market conditions, instead of taking just event, incident, problem based populist measures which will ensure the local as well foreign investors and then you can see changes in the economy. Asked by: Subodh Deshpande

A. That is an ideal situations but political parties have different agendas and will never agree to that.

Q. Does UPA stands to gain in 2014 elections, keeping in view the budget? It seems the budget has been successful in attracting JD(U)? How do u see the position of each party/alliance in 2014 elections? Your guess on the seat margins, each party/alliance may win? Asked by: Sam

A. It's too early to say anything. And in politics a week is enough to change things. I will not guess right now, may be closer to elections.

Q. For get money and every thing and just deep in the mind think on this. If the Budget 2013-14 drafted, keeping the 2014 general elections in mind, then no matter which government it is, will not dig new holes to the economy this is for sure, means no place for democracy, accountability, parliament will always be divided, like mother and father are always fighting in the house and their kids become homeless in their own home. We need to re-learn, re-think from beginning otherwise such things will come and go. Asked by: Subodh Deshpande

A. I agree with you completely.

Q. Ashutosh. Is it not amazing and laughable for the Finance Minister to mention that there are, who would count up to this number...42000 odd people who earn above one crore and would be charged the proposed 10 per cent surcharge? Do you think he meant MP's, MLA's and MLC's in the centre and states. Asked by: Anonymous

A. Even I am amused with the figures given.

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