Dear Mango Man, A Reasonable Pro-Poor Budget-2020

The longest ever recorded budget speech was delivered by the Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman. This author had the occasion of reading the insights of the Economic Survey-2020, and then the Budget-2020.

A sector specific explanation is not the purpose of this article, the only point of this article is to reduce the budget in layman terms to a logical conclusion that how will this serve the needs and pockets of the common man, or the mango man, aam aadmi (sounds too much like the Kitch-Kitch Kejriwal and seems to have lost its meaning).

The budget has acknowledged the fact that there is slowdown in the economy, and like the Late FM Mr. Arun Jaitley said that the slump is cyclical, it is perhaps true. The Biggest consuming economies of the world, US and Britain, are currently undergoing a paradigm shift in their economic colonial policies wherein the former is engaged in a ‘trade-war’ with China, which is perhaps the world’s largest producer, and the latter is implementing a divorce from the economic bloc, European Union. Both of the moves have directly impacted the supply chains across the global economic system, and since there is a global slowdown, and the investor sentiments being on the back-foot all over the globe, the picture for the emerging market economies such as India is not very optimistic.

The economic survey brought to the fore, ‘Thalinomics’, which is a novel idea to bring the daily economics to the ordinary Indians’ mind. The move aimed to tell the mango-man that despite the ups and downs in the economy, how much did a non-vegetarian and a vegetarian household saved in their budgets against inflation. It is a true fact that as compared to the UPA years, the BJP government has been able to keep food inflation miraculously within reasonable limits. Hence, the ‘Thalinomics’ tended to tell the ordinary Indian that there is some amount of hope, since the dip in household savings is being taken as an alarming crisis, that every household can create a stable budget and proceed with certain savings as well, which is the benefit of the low food inflation.

The most beautiful part of the Budget-2020 from the perspective of the mango man remains the simplification in the tax slabs for personal income. The majestic view that the new tax slab offers is to the youth who are a dealing with low paying jobs to save their tax burden, and pay nothing! The socialist impetus to budget makes the high/well earning citizens to share the burden of the economic hardships of the people who are not blessed enough to have access to material comforts.

Further, the push given to privatisation, be it the Railways, and the development of hospitals, in Public-Private-Partnership mode, will alleviate the general standard of living of the mango-man. The privatisation of railways, offers people who are willing to afford exorbitant prices for tickets through ‘Dalals’ shall in sometime afford quality services and the Indian Railways, shall make incomes which shall be used to fund the losses incurred in providing the commute at cheap rates to the ones who need it the most. The vision to develop quality hospitals will solve the problems of Tier-2 and Tier-3 citizens who rush to bigger cities, and the burden on public hospitals, to offer quality healthcare, combined with the PM-JAY and Ayushmaan Bharat scheme, the benefits to be reaped are affordable healthcare to all.

The next best thing that helps the common man is the push given to affordable housing and relaxation in land pricing, since the middle class Indians are unable to realise prices for their real-estate, the push will certainly help them to garner wealth.

The government has planned to give a push the ‘Assemble-in-India’ which will certainly provide quality jobs in a short span of time as compared to ‘Make-in-India’. The Start-up ecosystem is being pampered in the budget and the exemptions to MSME’s shall also help boost growth. The penal provision inserted in the CGST for creating fake bills and robbing the government of the due GST collections is also a good move.

The budget has ensured that there will be a greater thrust to development of infrastructure which will again help the people. The farming sector will get its due share, and the PDS will be maintained even in the times of the micro-economic crisis, it is a commendable job.

All in all the budget is a visionary one, and shows the labour put in despite the hue and cry from the industry as well as the populism expected! The budget adjusts the flow of money, in a very simple and mellifluous way, which is so far one of the most beautiful budgets this author has try to decode!

This author is not an economist, and hence the insights are purely general, yet, this author expresses the joy, he felt after analysing the budget, and was very appreciative of the fact that despite the furore over the ‘Suit-Boot ki Sarkaar’ jibe, the government has kept in mind the budget to keep it a very strict Nationalist Socialist budget.

Dear FM, it is a wonderful budget, the roadmap is there, the implementation of the policies, has to be followed with the concerned ministries and departments, through delegation of responsibilities and co-ordination at the level of NITI Aayog.

Thank you for the wonderful budget.

Jai Hind. Jai Bharat.