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'Dream budget can turn into nightmare if not implemented'

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 4: Implementation is the key for a 'good budget,' as even a dream budget can become a nightmare if this aspect is not taken into consideration, Indian Bank Chairman and Managing Director K C Chakrabarty said today (Mar 4, 2006).

Delivering inaugural address at an interactive session on Union Budget 2006-07, organised by g8 consultants of the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) here, he said budget was a ''very big'' document and the demystification exercise must serve three purposes.

Meetings like the one arranged by SICCI must serve as a platform to increase the technical knowledge-base with experts giving their observations.

He said there should be awareness on budget, which was the earning and expense statement of the nation and created out of the tax payers's money.

''The Finance Minister gives directional thinking... what is the thinking of the people running the country? Is it in line with our thinking?'' Dr Chakrabarty said, urging people to throw up these questions and create pressure on democracy. The onus was on the citizens to create the ''feel good factor,'' and that could be done only by spreading awareness.

Thirdly, implementation was the key to a budget. All budgets were good as a set of professionals spend a lot of time and energy in preparing the document.

The duty of individuals lay in demanding receipts for any payment or crediting salary instead of making cash payments. ''What does financial inclusion mean? with 75 per cent of the people not having bank accounts, we should make a beginning by crediting the salary to the account of milk man or housemaid, who will be forced to open bank accounts.'' Mr M R Venkatesh of GSV Associates dwelt on the economic issues of the budget. When Finance Minister P Chidambaram was not in power, foreign countries used to get their budget papers vetted by him, ''the jewel'' of the country.

However, post-budget the FM only reflected the confusion in ''our minds.'' The capital account convertibility, a cherished dream of the FM in 1997, did not even warrant a mention in the subsequent years.

When the stock markets touched the 4,000 mark, the FM talked about FIIs and FDI but when the sensex zoomed past the 10,000 barrier, he did not utter a word.

The quality and direction of the budget, over a period of time, had changed, he said giving his perspective of the budget.

Other speakers included Mr Sriram Seshadri of K Ravi and Co and Tube Investments of India General Manager Taxation M R Diwakar.

UNI

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