Tuesday, 3 March 2015

UNION BUDGET 2015-16 My Take


Its been a long time that i have actually visited my own blog and tried to type.

on 28th February we had an amazing session at our college. We had organized a budget viewing session on the large screen at our college auditorium, this was followed by a few remarks by experts on finance, economy, agri-horticulture and taxation.

The highlight of the programme was the presence of Shri. Athani Veeranna, the Chairman of our Institute, who is a leading chartered accountant and an acknowledged expert in taxation matters. He was his usual self in being highly meticulous in pointing out the pertinent facts in the budget and then giving his views on the budget proposals.

Prof B Veerbhadrappa, an economist, Economics Professor and the finance officer of Davangere University who sat through the entire proceedings. He gave a fabulous overview on management of the economy and spoke about the balancing act of the finance minister.

Mr. Basavanagouda, the coordinator of the Tarala Balu Krishi Kendra also did a great job of providing insights into the budget proposals for the agriculture sector. He analysed the proposals with respect to the wish list of the progressive agriculturists.

Then it was my turn to voice my opinion on the budget proposals. A lot has been said about the budget in the last three days but my opinion is my opinion and as always i beg to differ a little from the tread path. So here it goes....

JAM- the Jan Dhan - Aadhar - Mobile troika will necessarily plug the leakages in the subsidy system (a glimpse of the fallout of the troika was evident when the brother of the PM participated in demonstrations)

62% of the tax collections are to be devolved to the states and this is being projected as the spirit of true federalism. I see it in a different light. The center wants to put the onus of providing subsidies on the states so that there can be separate policies for separate states.

one of the visions of the government enunciated was of providing 100% housing by 2022. This is a laudable decision. Industries in cement, steel, housing finance, power and infrastructure can look forward to large opportunities. In fact, the next two decades will belong to the infrastructure industry.

An announcement of setting up an unified Agricultural market has been made, if this becomes a reality, then commission agents in APMCs will have to look for better business opportunities or remodel themselves to be a part of this new arrangement. Anyhow this will change the game for ever in the Agricultural produce markets.

MUDRA (Micro Units Development Refinance Agency) is being setup with a Rs 3000 cr. initial investment, this should pave way for credit availability to small, tiny and micro industries and free them from the clutches of private money lenders. The unorganised market of money lenders charges usurious interest rates and it has become the bane of the businesses at the proverbial bottom of the pyramid.

A bankruptcy code is envisaged to help faster start-ups and faster winding-up of companies. Along with ease of doing business, ease of closing business is also of vital importance so that resources are not wasted on trying to make unprofitable business to survive. This is a welcome move.

A vital point is that NBFC with more than 500cr capital will be treated as financial institutions under the SARFAESI Act. this would prevent the goonda raj prevailing in the private financing of commercial vehicles and tractors.

The Finance minister has promised a universal social security system, I am now feeling that we are truly moving forward to become a developed country. The Atal pension scheme is the right step in this direction.

"Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas" has also brought in "Nayee Manzil" to appease the minorities with less formal education to start micro enterprises. (if the same was done for all communities then it would have been real sabka saath and sabka vikas). Here the government seems to be wooing the minority just the same way as the earlier governments.

A Rs. 25000 cr Rural infrastructure Development Fund has been announced, good days are here for gram panchayats and taluk panchayats. Hope the money finds its way to real infrastructure.

Apart from the RIDF another Rs. 70000 cr has been announced as investment in infrastructure, supporting my take that this is going to be a decade of infrastructure.

Much needed boost has been provided to the power sector by announcing a policy of plug and play power projects, Ports to be converted to companies (did somebody say Adani?) a start-up fund of Rs. 1000 cr for IT start-ups.

Financial Markets have found a new measures by the merger of SEBI and FMC. A welcome move, for that matter too many regulators spoil the broth, so minimum government is essential for maximum governance. Measures to develop and deepen the bond markets, introduction of Indian Gold coins and authority to FEMA to control equity investments will pave way for better administration, development of markets, freedom from gold imports and a sovereign gold bond to take care of the craze for gold investments.

The central theme of the budgetary proposals seems to be a road map for establishing a cashless society. Ease of doing business has been addressed again in bringing about a public contracts resolution bill ans a regulatory law for infrastructure.

Education seems to be loaded with skill development and not with mind development. A Student Financial Aid Authority to take care of financing the students of higher education is a welcome move but what is needed is "NATIONALIZATION OF EDUCATION" if Modi is being hailed as a Thatcher of India then it is imperative that the BJP with its majority pushes for Nationalization of education. only such a move will be able to provide education to all the classes of people. Germany is a very good example of what nationalized education can do to the country.

A Bank board to be setup and then this is expected to grow in to a bank holdings company. A Sovereign holding company to hold all governments investments, to be managed professionally is the right direction to take. Hope this too happens in the near future.

Finally a commercial division in the courts has been announced, this will pave way faster resolution of business conflicts and lead to better environment for conducting ones business.

I would not like to dwell on the tax proposals, As it is said that Taxes and Death are a certainty and they are not avoidable. Both cannot be moderate, thus less spoken of them the better.

All in all a budget that creates hopes, promises more than it delivers and seeks to flush out black money by making life difficult for offenders. this budget can be called high on hopes and low on real, ground level issues. let's hope that whatever is promised is delivered, as that is all that we can do for the next four years.