Saturday, February 22, 2003

We always budge from budget

Swaminthan writes an interesting piece on budget in this article. I feel it’s incomplete since he mentions about budgets in other nations but doesn’t delve fully into how far they stray from their national budgets. I personally don’t think other countries are any holier than India when it comes to not sticking to budget allocations. I know for sure UK doesn’t. A few snippets:

Let me start by asking whether we have a budget at all. People use the word to mean different things. But for a Government, a budget is supposed to fix spending limits for different departments, according to the Government's priorities. In many countries, a department facing Budget cuts has to shed staff or schemes. But not in India. Here jobs are sacred. DA and TA are sacred. No ongoing scheme, no matter how hare-brained, can be axed instantly. In a peculiar Indian inversion of global practice, almost everything is fixed except the budget allocation.

He also goes on to say: I do not know what so many people see in the Budget. But I also do not know what so many people see in Britney Spears, or Bipasha Basu. God works in mysterious ways, and so does the public.


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