Budget Session Looming Ahead: What’s In Store As JNU Imbroglio Continues?

 

Even as the Government is grappling with the JNU row, am sure the South Block is busy preparing its strategy for the action next week. The Parliament’s Budget session kicks off on February 23. Given the ongoing imbroglio on the JNU issue and the Rohit Vemula suicide case before that even the most optimistic ones amidst the Government machinery cannot pin their hopes on a smooth sailing. If the Monsoon and the Winter session washouts were any indication, the Parliament is gearing up for another stormy affair through the Budget session.

Apart from the key Budget speech, several other long standing economic issues have been screaming for attention ever since Modiji assumed power. The most important is no doubt the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill. Though one of the primary election issues, it has not seen the light of the day and is perpetually stuck in the Parliamentary quagmire that BJP seem to be getting stuck into ahead of every session be it Vyapam, Lalit Modi or the current JNU row. The April 1 implementation deadline has already become next to impossible once it missed the Parliament’s winter session.

Large ticket economic reforms apart from GST have also been pretty much on the back burner with the Government too busy resolving the political crisis around. With increasing number of sceptics questioning the slow pace of economic reform, the pressure is more than ever before to get the GST going in an effort to give a leg up to the economy. The reforms agenda incorporated in the Budget would be crucial as well ahead of the state elections scheduled in the coming days.

Though the projected GDP growth for this year is around 7.6%, the actual investment on ground has been on the decline. The proposed investment during the first eight months of the fiscal year in value terms is significantly lower compared to the same priod last year.

With all this at stake, am sure the BJP strategists are working overtime to plan out the Budget session strategy. Attention has to be not just redirected to deep rooted economic matters but also BJP has to make the additional effort to get across the message to the aam aadmi about the overall economic progress of the country. Effective communication from the Government alongwith long promised fast paced economic development is what will turn the tide for them.

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