Making a monster out of a simple statement of accounts – The Budget

I don’t really understand this hoopla around the annual budget. Is it really that important? Why such a fuss? Just calm the fuck down. It is only the government’s statement of accounts on how it intends to earn its money and spend it. That it all.

And price hikes of cars, petrol, houses, etc, are now not restricted to budgetary moves. Happen all around the year. Still budget is drama. This annual exercise is completely futile. If you want to make the government more accountable, there should be a quarterly review. If companies declare their results every 3 months, so should the govt. The budget should the roadmap for the year. Review it every quarter. That is how you make your parliament accountable to your money. Do you remember how much was allocated to a rural scheme last year? No.

So, what is the point in listening to the finance minister harp on fresh expenditure when we can’t even benchmark it to previous year? This yearly façade of budgetary allocations are way off the mark. Every single subsidy, deficit, targets, etc are porous. So, why can’t the government review its budget expenditure and achievements on a quarterly basis? Coming back on track will be much easier.

And then the budget is based on assumptions. These are bound to go wrong.What happens to the budget then? A failed exercise. An assumption of how much the government will earn this year. The foundation itself is flawed. Every year the targets are missed.

When you can’t even guarantee how much money you will earn how do you plan spending that rupee? Its all a big ‘if’. But this talk falls on deaf ears. Budget is to business papers what elections is to a general newspaper. We can’t do away with our love to blow statement of accounts out of proportion. So be it. But at least start with a regular quarterly review.

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