Comparing Congress and BJP budgets in 2014, the last general election year
New Delhi, Feb 1: The NDA II government tabled its final budget on Friday, February 1, as the country is due to elect a new government in another few months. Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the budget in the absence of Arun Jaitley.
There were expectations that the budget will be more of a populist one as the outgoing government's last-ditch effort to lure the voters. The new government that takes charge in a few months' time will present the full budget.
How have twin budgets worked in India in 2014 when governments led by two different parties presented them a few months apart?
In 2014, the finance minister of the outgoing UPA II government, P Chidambaram, had presented the interim budget and then the full budget was presented a few months later by his successor Arun Jaitley of the NDA II government. Did the two budgets differ significantly?
As per many experts, there weren't much differences between the two budgets for they believe the BJP-led NDA did not have much of a different economic vision than the Congress-led UPA.
Here is a brief comparison between the budgets of Chidambaram and Jaitley in 2014:
First, the interim budget of 2014. Chidambaram's budget did not have much of policy announcements since it was being presented by a lame-duck government.
That budget had seen a very low allocation for Capital Expenditure and revenue expenditure in the form of subsidies, pensions and interest payments that are not productive formed more than 80 per cent of the tax revenue.
The interim budget also had low non-tax estimates when compared to the revised estimates of the budget that was presented in 2013-14. Also in that budget, interest payments as a percentage of net-tax revenue for 2014-15 was proposed at over 43 per cent.
Then came the Union Budget presented by Jaitley after the NDA II government too charge in May 2014. This budget had a higher expenditure by about Rs 31,678 crore than the interim budget.
In Jaitley's budget, Rs 13,621 crore went towards the capital expenditure under Plan and non-Plan heads. There was also a better resource mobilisation of non-tax revenues worth additional over Rs 31,000 crore under the Union budget.
In terms of the net-tax revenue also, the Union budget of 2014-15 saw a slight increase than the interim one's 43.3 per cent.
The differences that Jaitley's budget made were mobilisation of extra non-tax receipts of Rs 31,791 core; extra borrowing of Rs 2,546 crore and Rs 6,500 crore more in other receipts.
Predictably, the Union budget of 2014-15 had announce more policies, programmes and schemes, but in quantitative numbers, not much of a difference was seen between the documents presented by Chidambaram and Jaitley, respectively.