ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Twenty-Point Framework

The Twenty-Point Framework S Guhan SANKARA has an evocative description in the Bhoja Govindam: "The days pale into the evenings, winter and spring repeat themselves, time is playful, and life proceeds...." Five months of intense activity in the Planning Commission, Finance and other Ministries, and in Public Sector Corporations, open and secret consultations, rounds of discussions between the Centre and the states, dark hints and promises. Industry advising Government and Government advising Itself (vide the Economic Survey) all climax on a Saturday afternoon at the end of February. It is Derby Day for the official gallery, the Cabinet enters in a herd from its meeting on the Budget, and the Finance Minister rises to present his proposals. Spot reactions- senile or infantile-follow on the radio and on television. Much newsprint is spilled in the coming week. The next three months of parliamentary time are taken up in the detailed and non-detailed discussion of the Budget, relieved only by calls for quorum. The official machinery is brought to a standstill keeping track of it. It is all over in mid-summer leaving Ministers free to go on their foreign trips. Four months later, duly rested, we are into the preparations for the next round. Time plays, life proceeds, but as Sankara ends the verse, "delusion does not depart".

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