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Nothing much in the Interim Budget


The much-hyped interim budget, presented by an interim finance minister after the real finance minister moved to the home ministry, and the replacement went to hospital, was a damp squib, surprising everyone on the TV channels but no one else who had even the IQ of a broomstick.

The event, broadcast by all channels expecting that Mr. Mukherjee, speaking in his trademark Bengali accent, would say something remotely understandable. He ranted and raved about the last five years – like we weren’t there – and told us how the dividends and taxes of PSUs had moved from “phibty phibe thousand crores to ninety one thousand crores” and various other numbers. Sometime in the middle of a very long boring speech, someone fell “ill” – which likely means he threw up – and they had to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes. After which, it was revealed that the poor “honourable” member was sober, something not noted in the history of parliament, so a few quick vodkas later, we were back in business.

And there was nothing after either. No tax sops. No sops for realty. No sops because no one knew what “sop” means.

PM – Pranob Mukherjee that is – declared that the fiscal situation was looking quite bad, and the deficit was going to be 5.5% of GDP. That, it seems, is a huge deal – and the shortfall of 45,000 cr. isn’t going to be financed from the markets. (A good thing, as we seem to have extremely shallow government bond markets)

Overall, there was nothing after a very large set of expectations. At this rate, we will soon run out of news.


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