Financial Sector in the 2019 Union Budget

Much Ado About Nothing

The announcements for the financial sector in the 2019–20 budget are either too little or too grandiose relative to the actual requirements of the sector. Given this, the author questions the razzmatazz about the budget as the “auspicious” occasion for which government policy initiatives need to wait to be announced.

Is there any reason that the government policy initiatives need to wait for a particular day of the year to be announced? After all, the budget is a planned or projected income–expenditure statement of the government (or, bahi-khata to use the more contemporary lingo). Why, then, all the razzmatazz about the union budget? Is it a colonial hangover with which we are still stuck? Moreover, after the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), a large chunk of the indirect tax proposals is already beyond the normal perimeter of the annual budget. Thus, the fact that the extent of media hype about the Indian union budget has been increasing at an accelerated pace over the years could be a reflection of the “breaking news” syndrome and the associated chase for the television rating point (TRP). However, in this day and age, the search for TRP may be quite independent of the news content of the event. This year’s budget perhaps illustrates this general principle of divine announcements getting disconnected from the devil in the details. The role of the financial sector in this year’s budget is no exception. Against the context of the current state of the financial sector in India, the present article looks into some of the specific announcements relating to the financial sector in the 2019–20 Union Budget.

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Updated On : 10th Sep, 2019


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