View: Not an unwise sleight of hand in this Budget


A higher fiscal deficit on account of blasé accounting reforms may suggest that the Centre has pumped in an enormous stimulus even as naya paisa laid out is actually minimal.


Budget 2021 could have done more for boosting public investment in agriculture and increasing government spending beyond what is incurred on repaying FCI’s debts. However, a limited increase in custom duties suggests that an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is, after all, not an India closed to trade. We have not recouped our globalising march of the 2000s yet. But lack of further regress must be noted.

To double farmers’ incomes anytime soon, it is essential to boost capital formation. Public investment in agriculture will grow by an impressive 23% over the revised estimates (RE) for FY2021, reaching an outlay of ₹39,000 crore. However, this conceals the fact that there is a 28% drop in RE over the budgetary estimates (BE). Consequently, public investment in agriculture will grow by only ₹1,200 crore over three years, and fall steeply when

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