Budget 2018 suggests that Modi will fight 2019 on performance and not SOPs

The budget 2018 has been met with mixed response. Some praise the proposed universal health coverage scheme and allocations for MUDRA and MSME sector. Others point out the crucial MSP related announcement in the finance minister’s speech. The middle class has complained that the Modi government has not given any relief to them. However, there is a serious political message through this balanced budget which has sought to innovate within the boundaries of fiscal deficit limits. It has not offered any major sops to any section of the society,

Finance minister’s confident demeanour

When the finance minister rose present the budget, he began his speech with the following words :

Madam, four years ago, we pledged to the people of India to give this nation an honest, clean and transparent Government. We promised a leadership capable of taking difficult decisions and restoring strong performance of Indian economy. We promised to reduce poverty, expedite infrastructure creation and build a strong, confident and a New India. When our Government took over, India was considered a part of fragile 5; a nation suffering from policy paralysis and corruption. We have decisively reversed this.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

It appears that Modi and Jaitley have set out with a purpose driven agenda when the NDA’s term in office began. It is not a matter of rhetoric alone. They have not hesitated to uncover the NPAs in the banking system and offer a transparent legislation to solve it (the insolvency and bankruptcy code). The mess of coal block allocation and spectrum sales left behind by the UPA were swiftly solved.

In spite of huge risk, demonetisation and GST were implemented in the face of stiff political opposition. The satisfaction of having achieved this was reflected in the finance ministers last full budget speech during NDA’s five year term. He said , “The journey of economic reforms during the past few years has been challenging but rewarding.”

Essence of Modinomics , as presented by Shah

Amit Shah captured the essence of Modinomics in a speech to intellectuals eminent citizens of Karnataka in August 2017. In a speech of about 50 minutes he outlined the core principles of his party and contrasted BJP from the main opposition party. He said that all governments of past were stuck in dilemmas which had been overcome by Modi.

All governments of past were stuck in the dilemmas. Whether the government must work on urban development and stick to a rural focus. Modi sarkar has proved that there is no conflict between these two goals, both can be achieved simultaneously. Previous governments were confused between the choice of social sector schemes and reforms. Modi sarkar proved that reforms can happen alongside poverty alleviation. [At 38:00 of the video ]

If one looks at the social sector policies of Modi, one finds innovation, variety and a strong understanding of the fundamental needs of common citizens of India. Swacch Bharat, Saubhagya, Jan Dhan yojana, housing for all, Ujjwala etc have dealt with basic needs of the people. Toilets, electricity, bank account , homes and clean cooking fuel are important for uplifting the poor through empowerment and not enslavement to a party or politician.

At the same time, NDA- II has been able to roll out fundamental economic reforms that improve ease of doing business in India. Thus the myth of contradiction between pro-business vs pro-poor economics has been dispelled. All this has been achieved while maintaining fiscal deficit targets. Probably, corruption free governance and low oil prices in 2014-17 played their role in helping NDA -II achieve this result.

UPA -II happened because of farm loan waiver

Most political observers have admitted that the 50,000 crore farm loan waiver brought UPA back to power in 2009. The SOP offered by the center in their last budget ensured that the rural vote stayed with them. It must be remembered that fiscal deficit was as high as 6% ( 3.3 trillion rupees) in 2008-09. The election was won at the cost of tax payer. The summary of 2008 budget states :

About 3 crore small and marginal farmers and about one crore other farmers to benefit from the scheme; Total value of overdue loans being waived estimated at Rs.50,000 crore and the OTS relief estimated at Rs.10,000 crore.

If the economy had been doing well 2013, the UPA would not have hesitated to deploy a similar sop to get elected again to office.  Unfortunately, the economy was in doldrums in 2014 and the hope of re-election had been already low.

Budget 2018 suggests that Modi will fight on performance and not SOPs 

The absence of any SOP before NDA’s last full budget before 2019 polls indicated that Modi is confident about his performance so far. The finance minister said that the reforms and corrections done under NDA II has poised the economy to return back to 8% growth. Modi has effectively thrown the ball in people’s court.

The message from Budget 2018 is clear : I have done my work, now it is your job to get me re-elected.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Activist opposing Akshaya Patra’s mid-day meal contract thinks ‘Brahmins obstruct India’s development’

The Akshaya Patra has come under criticism recently for not including onion and garlic in its mid-day meals for school children.

Here is what connects attack on Akshaya Patra, French NGO against Rafale and demonization of Amarnath Yatra

The web of foreign-funded NGOs that demonised the Amarnath Yatra, French NGO that complained against Rafale in France and the demand to remove Akshaya Patra from midday meals contract

Mumbai Police teaches a lesson in humility to ‘special’ Sonam Kapoor

Actor Dulquer Salman clarified that he and Sonam were sitting inside a car that was rigged to a truck and hence were not breaking traffic rules.

All you need to know about Congress’ Chhattisgarh CM elect: Bhupesh Baghel, who was once jailed in sex CD case

Congress leader and Chhattisgarh CM elect Bhupesh Baghel is currently out on bail in sleaze video case

Zee News issues defamation notice of Rs 1000 crore to Congress leader Navjot Singh Singh

Sidhu had allegedly threatened the Zee News when he had said “nani yaad dila denge” after Zee News had shown a video ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised at an election rally

Uttar Pradesh: Eight cattle smugglers arrested in Bahraich with arms and ammunition

The smugglers even tried to trample the police personnel with their vehicle.

Church of South India Archbishop Dyvasirvadam arrested in church fund scam, reports Times of India

According to the report, archbishop Dyvasirvadam was allegedly involved in misappropriation of church fund for over a decade

Rafale: SC examined the pricing details closely, ‘did not rely’ on CAG report as claimed by Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi has claimed that the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale was based only on the CAG report, while it is not true

#GoBackSonia trends on Twitter ahead of Sonia Gandhi’s Tamil Nadu visit to inaugurate Karunanidhi’s statue

Twitter is abuzz with #GoBackSonia trend as Sonia Gandhi is going to Chennai to inaugurate the statute of DMK founder Karunanidhi.

Rafale: They wanted to pull Modi down to their level

The Congress and its ecosystem is strong and well oiled.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,738FansLike
98,134FollowersFollow
6,333SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these