Pranab admits budget could have been better, read the headline in CNN-IBN.
However, this is not an opposition leader talking, but the Finance Minister of India himself.
Then, pray, who or what stopped Pranab Mukherjee from giving a better budget? Was it “coalition compulsions” as his prime minister put it recently?
And, pray, who were among those who enthusiasticaly cheered the budget? The business leaders, obviously.
Because the budget has nothing in it to cheer the “aam admi”, but ample for the Ambanis, the Tatas, et al.
Let’s quote from CNN-IBN directly: A strong believer of ‘even the best can be improved’, Pranab says, “Real reform is change in the functioning of the government. It does not always mean that it should attract headlines. Reform is when it affects the lives of the common man.”
I do not see how this government headed by Manmohan Singh, tied up as it is in multiple knots, can change the functioning of the UPA government. Coalition compulsions, that culprit, again!
The Agriculture Minister is more interested in his other important occupations, like cricket. The Telecom Minister busy in whitewashing his predecessor’s wrongdoings.
And Manmohan Singh is busy keeping the UPA government’s coalition partners in good humour. You see, staying put in the PM’s chair and “completing the full term” is more important than the stupid concerns of the “aam admi”.
Okay, but did not Pranab hike the IT ceiling? The government’s cheerleades in the mainstream media were “dropping hints” that the ceiling would be raised to Rs 3,00,000. Only 20,000. Oh, that’s okay, it is great, isn’t it?
It is enough to cover the inflation that has hit the “aam admi’s” budget, isn’t it?
And, by the way, what is this budget, actually? Ever since Singh’s earlier avatar as Finance Minister, many reforms have taken place. This “good work” was carried forward by P. Chidambaram, and now Mukherjee.
What is the first thing that comes to the mind when we talk of reforms? For one, widening the tax net. So that the government can collect more money from the “aam admi” so that it can be wasted by the sheer leakages in governance and deliverance of services.
And, a huge — very huge, admittedly by the Congress party’s now long dead icon, Rajiv Gandhi — part of our taxes, almost 95 per cent, goes into corrupt hands.
This admission was once again reiterated by his son: “I remember my father had once said that only 17 paise out of a rupee reach people.
Rahul went on to add: “Now the situation is even worse”.
So what does Rahul or his mother, the Congress party’s supremo, does about it? Nothing. Yes, nothing.
“Coalition compulsions”, you see.
To keep the Congress party in power, more than 83 per cent of the billions our government collects as taxes go into the pockets of ministers and bureaucrats, politicians and officials.
So, you see the more tax that is collected, the more benefits accrued to the politician and the bureacrat, the “aam admi” be damned!
Should I add more?