Government Talks Big & Acts Small

Jaitly-ArunKamal Morarka
The union budget was announced yesterday. Let us analyze it. A strange phenomenon is occurring in this country. Normally the government in power or the Prime Minister’s policy understanding and vision is very stable, but there is instability in the government, because of the coalition partners not thinking likewise. The strange thing just now is that there is a total stability in the number of MPs – 282 of the ruling party itself and allies. But there is total instability in the minds of the prime minister and the few people whom he trust or confides with him. Let me explain.
The Prime Minister’s known policies are: Make in India in which he wants to invite investment from the other countries. He wants to industrialize and create jobs. He wants to make taxation simpler. He wants people to become modern, use as much transparent economy as possible, etc. etc. Towards this end what is required is massive amendments in the Income Tax Act, which, even after four budgets, has not been done. Procedures are the same as they were in the UPA government. Income Tax department as it is – efficient, inefficient, corrupt, whatever it is. What change can you make by just going on repeating Make in India? You have to make things easier for the companies to come. Apparently, that wish of making India great is diluted by the political desire of embarrassing Chidambaram or Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. It is very small thing when you talk of running the country. The country has been handed over to you (to be run) by electorate. Ten years of UPA –you have already completed three years of your regime – you cannot go on repeating what happened in those 10 years. It shows that you have nothing to offer, which is a signal to the electorate that please bring them (UPA) back, because they were doing something for the country. What he can do only is catch hold of a man, arrest a man, make him confess that he has done wrong thing at the behest of Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh or Chidambaram.
Take the case of Vijay Mallya. (A disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Vijay Mallya. I hardly even know him socially.) But I cannot understand how you frighten a man so much, for not being able to repay loans to a bank that he has to run away from his country. And then instead of trying to solve the problem in the obudget speech the Finance Minister says that we will make law stringent and those who leave the country we may confiscate their property. This is how you treat your own people. Who’s a Member of Parliament, who ran one of the best airlines in the country, what message are you giving to the foreigners that your country’s own eminent people are not safe. How can foreigners be safe here? Of course you cannot arrest them because their embassies will intervene. But what is the message. And the TV says Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi to be targeted. This is this government: Petty, micro, minimalistic. They talk big and act small.
The whole budget smacks of vendetta. The good thing in the budget are there, i.e. some tax has been reduced for the lower income people; some smaller corporate have been benefited by reduced taxation those are good things. The outlay for rural sector, MNREGA, etc, have been increased but not sufficiently, that is because of the fiscal deficit he wanted keep by 3.2. There is no logic to it; this is the year in which he should allow fiscal deficit go to 4.0., and carried out massive investment, but nevertheless, that is the another matter which we can criticize, even Chidambaram has suggested fiscal deficit to be 3.0. Fiscal deficit is an international norm. We may differ, I differ. In my opinion a developing country cannot think of fiscal deficit all the time. Monetized deficit does not matter, inflation matters. If higher fiscal deficit can be sustained, so be it. You cannot have massive investment in infrastructure in new projects, in everything with limited resources. You have to expand your resource base. The sum and substance is there is no detailed analysis of the budget that is required. It is good budget. As things go, as Mr. Arun Jaitley goes, he has done a good job. He has tried to give relief to the poor. But again the message is: The news paper say, it is pro-poor budget, anti-rich budget. Now if it is anti-rich budget, why the share market gone up? If it is an anti-rich budget, share market should go down. I have not understood the logic – suddenly the stock market belongs to poor or what?
So, we must understand that there is a policy deficit in this government. It is not a question of numbers whether it is two thousand or twenty thousand. Now political parties – What kind of amendments is this that instead of twenty thousand rupees one person can give only two thousand rupees? Are you short of people in this country? Instead of writing one fake entry you have to write ten fake entries. What are we doing there is not thought process, prime minister decide something early morning at 5 o’clock tell these people in the afternoon and everybody gets to work, without arguing with him because he does not allow argument . That is the budget. Now coming to the second point – the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is not covering itself with glory. First in the case of Subrato Roy who was put in prison without charges, without violation of law, without anything, which is not a good example for the apex court to set. In BCCI the main grudge appears to be that some people are always in power, like Arun Jaitley, Sharad Pawar, N. Srinivasan, Rajeev Shukla. So court will change them and court will appoint people who know nothing about cricket to run cricket. What are they doing! Cricket is the only sports in which India is excelling in the world, and you want destroy it. Of course it will not be destroyed because players are good they will play, but what it that court getting at? The court told the BCCI that those state who do not vote in favour of Lodha report, do not give money to them. Court will tell to attorney general that those states which do not cooperate with Mr. Modi their grant should be stopped. Are we in a democracy? Are we in a plutocracy? Are we in some sort of funny system? Supreme Court must answer these questions. Whatever Justice Thakur did and gone is ok. Justice Khehar who is an upright man and known for sobriety, he should revisit the whole thing, both in Subrato Roy case and in this BCCI case. The Supreme Court does not loose dignity if it abolishes all these and let things go to normal. Let the BCCI run as it was running. If somebody is doing defalcation, law of land is apply, if somebody getting wrongly elected, law of the land will be apply. But if somebody elected fare and square he can go and getting elected. Why are you stopping him? Congress rule the country for so many years, no court interfered with them. It is the people who change the government.
The Supreme Court I am sorry is not covering itself with glory. You take America, where President appoints Supreme Court judges. Judges do not appoint judges. Same is the case in England also. India is the only place where the Supreme Court become so supreme that they perpetuate themselves they appoint their own people as judges. They comment on everything. I am sorry the day will come when people will lose faith in the Supreme Court, which very dangerous thing to happen in this country. Earlier the Supreme Court understands this, better it is.


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