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26 March 2012, Outlook India

But Where’s The Virtue?

Gateway House's Director Manjeet Kripalani wrote an article for Outlook India about the Union budget of India. She gives her opinion about the budget and raises doubts on the reforms, if any, that have been proffered.

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There is nothing worth getting excited about in the budget. It is unclear how this is a reform budget. Wherefrom will the money come for all the major schemes that have been announced? We missed the 4.6 per cent fiscal deficit target in 2011, ending up with a deficit close to 6 per cent. Nor does the 2012 budget have a clear roadmap to accomplish the newly proposed fiscal deficit of 5.1 per cent.

What are we doing to create credibility in Indian industry? Certainly not what is virtuous. Indian business is in bad shape. Big business is running away, it is impossible for small business to operate and existing business is being strangled. This will continue unless the macro-economic fiscal situation improves. The government is crowding out private enterprise. Indian business wants the Goods and Services tax (GST) to become operational and Indian manufacturing wants their energy requirements to be met. The country has such a national entrepreneurial urge, but there have been hardly any new start-ups in recent times. Unfortunately, this government has done almost nothing to promote business in India and allowed crony capitalism to take deeper root. Unless you are someone who has the ear of a politician, you cannot conduct any legitimate business in this country.


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