Monday, February 16, 2009

Interim Budget: Poll dance, but no item number

No relief for households, no tax cuts for industry. Just what more can you get from an interim budget? An election message, perhaps.
With an eye on polls less than three months away, as Pranab Mukherjee presented India’s 12th interim budget, the undertone behind his 80-minute drone was clear: “Vote for the Congress.”
Neither the “dream run for the economy”, nor the “fastest ever improvement in living standards over a four-year period” could stop the Sensex from falling 329 points — with India’s biggest companies tumbling: Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank fell 5.8 per cent.Gushing with what the UPA has done for major votebanks — farmers and minimum wage employees through reminders of schemes launched in agriculture, education, rural development and health — Mukherjee, who last presented a budget on February 29, 1984, dashed the expectations of the industrial elite.
Story in Hindustan Times

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