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Indian budgets have been a matter of intense debates, analysis and focus of attention not just in India but across the world for many years now, especially as India emerges as an economic giant. The expectations from a common man on the street to the business honcho in the board rooms and high corridors of power are all a matter of intense pressure on the incumbent Government, especially on the Finance Minister and the team.
The Indian Budgets have been a legacy from the British systems that pre-date the grant of self-rule on 15th August 1947. Not much has changed in the procedures, processes, methodologies and even large parts of the way the revenues and expenditures are recognized. The Governmental departments too have not undergone major changes all these years.
The change of timing of the Budget presentation, the change of the date of presentation, the symbolic discarding of the brief-case, the clubbing of the Railway and General budgets, dispensing with differentiation between planned and non-Planned groupings are some of the changes that took place since 1947 till date.
However, the underlying policies, procedures and philosophies of the Budgets and their preparations have not changed much. Be it the cumbersome procedures or the cash basis of accounting or the lack of trust in the tax payer or non-recognition of Indian ethos in business practices or recognizing the need to substantially support the SME sectors in contrast to so much focus given on formal Corporate world and many other redundant and legacy issues still continue to exist in the system.
Be it the Companies Act or its allied laws, be it the Income-Tax Act or its allied laws, the inspiration has always been what the West does rather than how the core Indian economy behaves at the grass-roots level. The concept of a Corporate entity was born in the West where the society was fragmented and family system broken down in favour of individual rights and privacy. But in India, strong family and social bonds besides our culture, drives businesses and commercial activities. Instead of focusing to strengthen the Indian ethos, these laws reflect what the west is doing and in large measures we sheepishly follow them. Gold is never treated as a commodity in Indian culture and yet rules are framed to treat it, tax it and control it as a commodity. The imported economists have been advising the Government to discourage savings and encourage “Consumption”. Several such systemic challenges have infected our Economy and economic narrative.
If India has to emerge as an economic super-power, it has to reframe its policies and the way it looks at its budgets from an Indian perspective and an Indian narrative. Dr Subramanian Swamy, an Economist of repute and an astute politician, shall analyse the Indian Budgets over the years especially in comparison with the West and will also suggest the road ahead to make India unshackle from the stranglehold of vested interests and lobbies and act in such a manner that would catapult it into the big league of respectable, responsible and resilient economic super-power. The program will be held at “The Park Hotel, Somajiguda, Hyderabad” on the 19th of February 2020 from 10.30 am to 01.00 pm. This shall be followed by a lunch with Dr Swamy for a selected group of intellectuals.