Okay! I admit the line is little Tacky!! But then I had to post an article written by a friend of mine... Why!?! simply cos I liked it and I wanted my friends to read it too. Again, just to remind you guys, I am posting this write up because the friend of mine, who btw works in a renowned Bank, doesn't get the time (I believe he is plain Lazy) to start a Blog! He writes and keeps it hidden (which I hate!!).. So this time, I decided to Flaunt my friend's Post instead!.... Good Work Debu. I hope, I have motivated you enough to start a Blog now! :D
" The Budget Mysteries..!!
We never celebrated Valentine’s Day growing up. But that doesn’t mean our
Februaries were fallow. Because we always had the Union Budget.
A little background. My father is a businessman and my mother is a Masters
in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. Thus watching the
budget was a family ritual- Dad would be taking down notes and Maa would be
engrossed in the proceedings while I counted the seconds as to when this
torture would end.
Coming back to the main point, I personally never understood the Budget
process or why the entire nation should go ga-ga over it. It always seemed
to me to be a kind of a socialistic hangover (like the Five Year Plans)
where the assumption was that national economy was guided more by
government policy (i.e. its system of tariffs) and less by the market. Of
course this opinion could be because of my naiveté in economics—I never
studied it—only smelt the tomes of Samuelson, Jones, and McKenzie as they
sat on the bookshelves near the TV.
Also each Budget to me sounded just like the one before. The reactions to
it were also unfailingly similar—-the ruling party would call it a “dream
budget”,” a budget for the common man” while the opposition would call it
The biggest mysteries however were the articles on which tariffs were
imposed or removed each year. Let’s see what’s cheaper this year! Pasta.
Now why would “pasta” need to be made cheaper?
Okay issue solved. I got it. We have an Italian as the de-facto ruler of
India. She must have made some phone calls.
Though I somewhat understand the lowering of duties, but what about the
articles that will cost more? Does their selection follow any logic?
For instance, why does “Henna powder” cost more this year? May be a
demented minded road side Romeo in the ministry thought…hmmm which goods
can be taxed more…let’s see let’s see………aha…Henna powder. But why? Was it
because he was dissatisfied with the Henna he was using and decided “screw
the industry”? Or was it…even I don’t know..!!
A few years ago, when the government levied a tariff on zari (the sparking
thing on the lining of a sari)—-was it because of an official’s disgust
with Shefali Zariwala’s inappropriate show in “Kaanta Laga”? Was it the
same reason why tariffs on hosiery also went up that year?
Or are the folks at the Finance Ministry more benign?—they just have a
million chits with names of products on them, throw them into a gigantic
hat and get Ram Singh, the official Parliamentary monkey to choose winners
(losers in this case).
I never asked Dad these questions. Maybe it’s time I did.
Best of Luck Maa and Dad. Many more happy budgets to you.
I am sure you are proud of your son’s understanding of economics."