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India Budget

India has just presented its new budget. Obviously you can't make everyone happy as some people were disappointed and some were extremely happy with the budget.

It was mostly a pro-farmer budget and even the defense expenditure has also increased. Comparing the budget of 2008 with India's first budget after Indpendence in 1947, it looks like India has certainly come a long way.

In 1947

Projected Revenues - 171.15 Crores

Revenue Expenditure - 197.39

Revenue Deficit - 26.24

Defence Budget - 92.74

Revenue from Income Tax - 119

Revenue from Customs - 50.5

Revenue from Post & Telegraph Department

Forex Reserves - 1,547

Public Debt - 2,531

Now, compare it to this years Budget

Projected Revenues - 602,935 Crores

Revenue Expenditure - 658,119

Revenue Deficit - 55,184

Defence Budget - 105,600

Revenue from Income Tax - 138,314

Revenue from Customs - 118,930

Revenue from Post & Telegraph Department -

Forex Reserves - 1,163,200

Public Debt - 2,896,737
we do it for cheap
While doing these comparisons the inflation should also be taken into account.
Anyway I think this is a pretty good budget. He has appeased the poor and presented a popular budget while ensuring continuity of economic growth.
Also this budget should give congress the strength they need to go ahead with the nuke deal.
Yes, I think it is a good budget. Farmer's are the backbone of Indian economy. It is sad that farmers still commit suicide in this land..
Budgets in the country is a big eye wash. I really do not know whether the money that is spent is exactly in the same way it was intended to. As a matter of fact, before the budget bill the Auditor general should present a paper at least on the previous year's (I mean one year behind the current year) status of the spending. But that is not happening. They only give you a statement which is really an half hearted account!

What you need to observe is:
1. 50% of the spending in the 40s and 50s was in defence. Today we spend less than 18% on defence. Good progress.
2. What you have omitted is the salary spend of the government in the 40s and 50s was 1% and that is today 10%. Bad, Really bad for the country! The guys should draw more salary but the problem is too many people and that is spoiling the administration too.
3. In a company, the administration spend (for salaries) should not be more than 1 to 2% for the company to make progress. Admin spend will include fin, general admin, hr dept and such others. Our government salary expense is about 1.8% of the GDP! And GDP as we all know includes even famine spends and others.
We need a performance appraisal of the government to be tabled in the parliement and not an annual budgetary ritual alone. We should also have discussins on what was planned and what was achieved. Was the amount spent in line with what was originally conceived at the beginning of the fin year.

There should be independent monitoring agencies for every plan. Only when the government is delivering what it should and makes full utilisation of its resources people will pay up taxes with out any grudge.
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