By bringing the money paid by Food Corporation of India out of the National Social Security Fund onto the government budget, she has ensured that not only the budget numbers look more accurate, but also gives the government a powerful political number to counter the claim of not having done for the cause of farmers. She also had limitations as the higher allocation from the 15th Finance Commission to the states comes into play immediately.
Similarly Jan Dhan Yojana, Ayushman Bharat, or Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana were not first set out in the budgets. Bank mergers, demonetisation, GST or even the mega slashing of corporate tax rates have all happened outside the budget speech. The budgets for each year simply incorporated these announcements into their framework and set out the financial implications. To this add the winding up of the erstwhile Planning Commission--the list goes on.
Sitharaman has not added to any dole in her budget, despite demands for the same. It does not mean those will not come later this year. Instead, her budget is workman-like document to make India get back to work, with minimum interference by the government while ensuring there is certainty in the tax rates and other rules.
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