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Budget: Promises kept and not. . .

March 09, 2010 18:04 IST

The Budget is like a cricket match involving the Indian cricket team. There's so much hue and cry every time the team loses or wins and all is forgotten when the next match starts.

Similarly reams of paper and millions of words are used to discuss the Budget every year, but by the time the next Budget is due many of these experts are more involved in thinking about what should be done in the upcoming Budget rather than what has been done that was promised in the last year.

Funnily enough the government releases an obscure document called 'Implementation of Budget Announcements' that lists the current status of all announcements made in the previous Budget.

It is ignored to such an extent that even on the list of documents relating to the Budget on the official Web site this link comes last.

As a follow on to all the articles written about Budget 2009-10, here's a review of what took place, what is still taking place and what has not taken place.

The matches won

  • Meeting with the finance ministers of the States. This was held this year on January 13 and is promised to be held every coming year.
  • Additional subvention in agricultural field increased. The sweet fruit of this decision has been achieved and the results are being monitored even now.
  • Debt Relief funds allocation for farmers to cope up with problems like late rain was extended. The process is completely followed just as promised.
  • Setting up of a task force to find out which on farmers did not benefit from the schemes. This has been realised as per the proposal.
  • A 6-month extension of aids to support the print media. The orders as promised are fulfilled.
  • Setting up of an expert group to price the petroleum products. Such an expert group has already been formed and it has submitted its reports.
  • Steps to encourage people to participate in the divestment programme and to support public sector enterprises such as banks and insurances. Policy note is approved by CCEA in last November. The disinvestment of CPSE's will now be done as per this policy.

The ongoing matches

  • Setting up of the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd to stimulate public investment in infrastructure. Modifications favouring the cause have been done from time to time. The request may be placed for amendment soon.
  • Steps to attract private investment in infrastructure sectors like telecommunications, power generation, roads, railways, and ports. Steps to give out loans in the last session has been under-utilised. Once the previous funds are utilised there is said to be an additional fund allotted towards this.
  • Steps to spread banking to areas that are still unbanked. The state governments have been requested to provide infrastructure to extend and expand bank branches to untouched areas. There are monthly reviews to spot such areas

The matches ready for the toss

  • Steps to help incremental lending to the infrastructure sector through commercial banks. Recommendation report is submitted and approved after obtaining the recommendations of the Planning Commission and DEA the matter is still under consideration of Empowered Committee.
  • The proposal of producing a blue print for easy nation wide circulation of Natural Gas. Comments on this have been received and yet in the processing stage.
  • Increase in the allocation of funds to develop new markets. Still under the implementation process
  • Extension of allocation of funds to promote the employment oriented exports. Primary installments have been allocated. The funds will be released on attaining proper re-appropriation orders.
  • Funds allotted to boost micro, small and medium enterprises. Almost three-forth of the funds allocated are disbursed through the various banks.
  • The reallocation of subsidies to nutrient based subsidy regime from the earlier product based one and there by attract fresh investments to the sector. Proposal is under consideration as the present there is growth in the indigenous industry.
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