Jaitley's budget a more interim one
Jaitley's budget this year, to analyse, is more an interim one and he has wisely not tried to get carried away by the current of an overwhelming mandate.
Many key issues need to be addressed
The decision to raise foreign investment caps in defence and insurance sectors to 49 per cent is there in Jaitley's first budget but it was more of an extension of what the previous regime had thought. The government has also to address key issues like subsidy reforms like in food and petroleum and also rural employment schemes. The issue of disinvestment and privatisation also needs to be addressed.
The real test will be in 2015
Jaitley's real test will be in 2015 when his government will get past its honeymoon period. The finance minister will have to call the shot in sometime to address the key areas in an economy which has not seen the best of times recently. Can Jaitley take the route of radical reforms seven months down the line? After all, in India, economics is always held hostage by politics and regimes have mostly struggled to get the direction of the economy right to overhaul a self-defeating Nehruvian style over the years.
Jaitley needs to lay out his govt's policy stand and not care about what critics say
It will be in the nation's interest if Jaitley lays down his government's stand on the economy and not get bogged down by criticism raised by the opposition and the media on probable hurdles about raising funds or how 2 lakh people missed out on job opportunities. It is unfortunate that the everyday governance in our country gets mired in petty disputes on prime time news and no long-time dream manages to evolve. The new government can not afford to waste time on reforms if India eyes a take-off by the time the third decade of the 21st Century arrives.
It is not a budget of missed opportunities but just a cautious beginning
Arun Jaitley needs to continue with the task of reforms in 2015 and stress emphatically that India now aims for a new economic zeal and settle with the same-old redistribution of poverty, parliamentary procedures notwithstanding. If Narendra Modi is being projected as the father of the second Republic of India, then his economic vision also needs to back his political success.