Bouquets and Brickbats

Bouquets and Brickbats

Presenting the country’s budget in the Parliament for approval of the august house may be treated by the Finance Minister either as a serious exercise or a mere annual routine. But, for the Opposition, it is an occasion to go eloquent in bringing him down on his knees. On the part of the land’s people, if money does not bring them happiness, it may at least help them to be miserable in comfort. For those who don’t consider money as the most important thing in life, love for money should keep them on track. While the powers that be in the incumbent government are keeping their hawk’s eye on black money to nab those who command money of that hue, the greens of the land are focussed on saving the land’s greenery at any cost. The intent of the government to double the income of the farmers in quick time, tickled a wit who has proposed that the surest way to double one’s money is to fold it over and push it into the pocket. The budget promising the moon to the masses, just presented last week, has a telling message for its critics in the words of Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900): Anyone who lives within his means suffers from a lack of imagination.

One of the observations highlighted on the bright side of the budget proposal happens to be the sops offered to the middle class, accounting for about three crore of the land’s population, resulting in more cash for buying their needs. They may spend money to buy things they don’t want just to impress people they don’t like.

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Seasoned players in the country’s commerce and industry sector have unanimously expressed their appreciation to the Finance Minister, including many in the city. Accolades have poured in from many eminent citizens, one of whom has said that direct income support to farmers is a good step in the wake of agrarian crisis leading to suicides by farmers. Attention bestowed upon indigenous cow breeds and allocation of 750 crore to nurture the livestock facing attrition is a laudable measure. The vision statement in the budget speech to create an India free of poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and littering is highly reassuring and realising that vision depends on inputs from the land’s diaspora.

The nation’s Parliamentarians seem to be enjoying the game of Snake ‘n’ Ladder, even as the Finance Minister showed the way to the top using the ladder’s rungs while the Opposition, in great haste, made him slide to the bottom with help from the snake. Moral of the budget: The best way of displeasing everybody is to try to please everybody.

February 7, 2019

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