Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee wants to promote inclusive development and ensure sound public finances.
There are doubts if these contradictory goals can be attained. In any developing country, attaining a balance between spending and fiscal prudence is hard.
It is more so in India as “inclusive growth” is a code word for redistribution, something that is expensive and defies the logic of sound public finances.
For example, the minister has set himself a target of reducing the fiscal deficit by 1.5 percentage points by March 2015. It is difficult to see how this goal can be met when there are ever rising demands on government money from populist programmes.
Attaining the two goals is almost close to tilting at windmills. Our leaders ought not to publicize such dreams when they know that these have little credibility to them.