Pragmatic Or Populist: Can Jaitley Find The Right Mix In Budget 2018
Will Budget 2018 lay down the road map for ‘acche din’?
Budget 2018 will be a fine balancing act for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with the twin challenges of stimulating growth while maintaining fiscal discipline.
This will be also be a challenge on the perception, being the last full Budget the Narendra Modi government presents ahead of the general elections in March next year, and comes at a time when the economy is recovering from demonetisation and still grappling with the Goods and Service Tax implemented in July last year.
Two years of bumper crops have not been enough to ease the distress in the agriculture sector. And though there are no clear statistics available on job growth, there is a general perception that more need to be created.
While these long-term goals may be tough to achieve through a few announcements in the Budget, what will be keenly watched is whether the government adopts a populist or pragmatic stance in BloombergQuint spoke to top economists M Govinda Rao and KV Subramanian who were part of a pre-Budget meeting Prime Minister Modi earlier this month, as well as National Executive Member of the BJP, Seshadri Chari, and Salman Soz of the Congress Party.
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