Chidambaram and another dream budget
The constraints outweigh the options, but expectations are sky high from Chidambaram’s budget
Sixteen years ago, P. Chidambaram presented what in urban legend has come to be called the dream budget. Not without reason. It had exhibited out-of-the-box thinking that rationalised and reduced rates of income tax into three slabs (10%, 20% and 30%). Having created the context for compliance, it had also offered an amnesty scheme that additionally served the purpose of raking in some much-needed resources. The budget came in against the run of play and the finance minister was hailed a hero.