Voice Of The People

Prof Santosh Mehrotra analyses Budget 2017

A professor of Economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Santosh Mehrotra, analysed the Union Budget for Pradip Bhandari, the Founder of Jan Ki Baat and its viewers. On job creation, the professor dismissed the Opposition’s accusation by saying that a lot of infrastructural work that finds space within the Budget would increase employment; railways, roads, optical fibre construction would require labour, which is why one can predict a job growth for migrants and landless labourers. On skill development, Professor Mehrotra believed, more could be done; currently the skill system in India is supply-driven and government-driven but it should actually be demand-driven and industry-driven. The task at hand is to cajole the industries and employers to contribute towards skill-development. The domestic manufacturing sector has already been incentivized by Make in India and Skill India campaigns. Excise duty on nickel and capital goods has been reduced, for the better. Health, too, has seen a significant change in allocation, compared to last year’s budget. What the budget lacks is in not recognizing the importance of skills and public investment in that sector. The economic situation, post-demonetization, too must be factored in for it to be deemed a good budget. The Non-performing Assets, have to be tackled with, as well.

The Union Budget was presented by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, in the Parliament. One of the most awaited budgets, it was keen on battling the image it had earned, post-demonetization, just a few months ago. It had to make space for many recent concerns, besides the usual allocations for infrastructure and developments. Opinions currently circulating the Budget are polarized, as any other issue.

Private Investments mark a large chunk of the nation’s GDP. Public investments, comparatively, are quite low. Certain sectors do require governmental investments, without any expectations of profit. Professor Mehrotra rightly points out the loopholes within the Budget and what could be done to avoid further messes. He rated the budget as 7/10. “,


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