I like the Budget. It delivers what the government has been promising for the past two years. The theme is the eradication of poverty through globalisation. But the economy needed brakes before it grew too fast and the bubble burst.
The rate of inflation has been going up, and so also property rates. The economy needed to slow down and this has has been done in a positive manner. The minister has given a lot of importance to agriculture, health and education. It’s very progressive. If we leave the rural sector deprived of development and prosperity, there would be a revolt in the future.
I think this Budget is a down-to-earth economic statement. The House took it very maturely. I credit the Left for putting the brakes on at the right time. The thrust had to be on agriculture. In education, the allocations were made to secondary education. I think they are done with primary education now. As an economy we’re shifting to a higher plane. It may hurt some people, but they can take it.
One of the two new things I’ve been exposed to is this ‘Plan A, Plan B’ and ‘Plan C’. This ‘Plan C’ is out of the Budget for India, and has got something to do with the Blackstone-led cartel, I think. It’ll have foreign investors and will have RBI as the guarantor. They’re talking of $5 billion in investment in this country every year. It’s huge.
The minister also specifically mentioned the need to tackle climate change and the greenhouse effect. I think it’s the first time that somebody has spoken about climate change in a Budget speech.