Indian Budget 2011 – what’s going on?

It’s that time of year, again!

Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee met with Congress insiders to begin unveiling his thinking on this year’s Budget, which is expected later this month. His headaches include inflation, a current account deficit, high import duties, and importantly how best to increase government revenues.

So, before the big day, I’m asking all of you what to expect in this year’s Budget?

People keep on talking about India’s demographic dividend; will the septuagenarian Finance Minister understand what’s required to ensure that the future is prosperous for this massively important population bracket. A budget for the young, perhaps?

Will he use the opportunity to guarantee market reforms that enable foreign firms get a larger piece of the action? Will India Inc exert its influence to ensure home company advantage?

What policies is he going to put in place that will help India break the 10% GDP growth rate, that India desires? Education, Employability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship are critical drivers to achieve this. What’s he thinking on these?

If you have any idea on the above, or on the forthcoming budget, leave your comments below.

The budget shows democracy is deeply rooted in India

If you wanted an example of the strength of Indian democracy, then today’s interim budget provides that opportunity, as it demonstrated that despite the incumbent government being on its last legs, and faces the very real prospect of being voted out of office, they’ve resisted the urge to announce concessions that may have increased their chances at the ballot box. The Foreign Minister – Pranab Mukherjee went as far as acknowledging that they “didn’t have a mandate to do more”.

Media reports suggest that over a trillion rupees were wiped off the stock market today as investors were hoping that various sops would be provided for key industry sectors to stimulate growth. Given this loss of confidence, I’m surprised that no concrete proposals have been floated to outline what each party would do to revive the economy.

In Britain, I believe that the economy will be the only story at election time, for this reason, I’m intrigued as to why this isn’t the case in India. With the elections so close, doesn’t it make sense to set your stall out on this issue?

With respects to the strength and maturity of Indian democratic values, I hope our politicans show the same depth when it’s our turn to go to the polls.