- The economic survey 2016-17 advocated universal basic income (UBI) scheme, but the budget ignored it.
- In FY 2016-17 was the seventh year when the government failed to meet its disinvestment target.
In one look the Union Budget 2017-18 seem a fair deal, and it has something for everyone. The game of big numbers has been played moderately well, and almost all segments of Indian vast population have been touched upon by the Finance Ministry.
However, this budget misses some key areas that are crucial for the welfare of the citizens of India.
Here are the 5 areas that the current budget failed to address:
1. Not much capital expenditure:
Capital expenditure means spending on the acquisition of various assets like land, machinery, buildings, and investments in loans, shares and advances granted by the central government. This budget for the financial year 2018 has not set an expected target in public capital expenditure.
Capital expenditure is required for infrastructural development in which India lacks behind. The Make in India initiative needs infrastructure support, and this does not seem to be the priority for the government.
2. Capital infusion of ₹10000 crore isn’t enough:
The budget 2017-18 has disclosed that the government will be infusing ₹10000 crore in PSU banks which figure was ₹25000 crore in the previous year’s budget. The purpose of capital infusion is one, to meet the credit need of borrowers and two, to take care of bad assets.
The PSU banks in India are dealing with huge amount of non-performing assets as well as they are known as loss-making agencies. This limited infusion of capital will help them to effectively deal with non-performing assets and help them recover from losses or not is very questionable.
3. GST is still a question:
The budget did not touch upon the indirect taxes which is an indication of the fact that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) might be implemented soon. Still, there is no confirmation as to when this tax will be rolled out.
Since this tax is to impact the price structure of goods and services that concern the whole nation; some clarity is needed before it is rolled out.
4. Universal basic income scheme:
Time and again it has been asserted that universal basic income (UBI) is needed to reduce poverty. The economic survey 2016-17 also revealed that it is the best replacement for subsidies and social schemes.
Though there were talks that this government might address UBI, but Arun Jaitley gave it a miss. When asked why UBI was not a part of the Union Budget, Arun Jaitley said India’s politics is not mature enough for implementing UBI.
5. Ambitious disinvestment target:
This financial year the government is planning to earn ₹72,500 crore through disinvestment which is ₹45500 crore higher than what has been raised in the last financial year. Also, data shows that last financial years was the seventh year when the government failed to meet its disinvestment targets.
Disinvestment is important for lessening the financial burden of the government, improving public finances, and to ensure fund growth apart from various other economic aspects of the country. Therefore, the government should set a realistic target for disinvestment.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:31 PM