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February 28, 2001                                       Feedback  

    - EXIM POLICY '00



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'I was expecting a harsher Budget'

Sunil Alagh

The Budget is good. In the circumstances the country is in these days, I was expecting a harsher Budget. Kudos to Finance Minister Sinha.

The finance minister seems to be a little more serious this year, about getting people into the investment mode, rather than the savings mode. That is a main feature of the Budget which augurs well for the economy and the country, as we can expect a steady and fast growth in a many industries.

However, the politics that will come into play after the Budget, especially on crucial issues like divestment, is a matter of concern.

The minister's move to downsize government is great. The intentions are very good. But my worry is how much "the system" will allow Sinha to downsize. Nobody in government service wants to lose his job. So, ministries will not like to be downsized. But the minister has to put his foot down and ensure that downsizing is done quickly.

The minister has given relief to the food processing industry. He has given relief to products which are made from vegetables and fruits. But these products are consumed by the upper income group of people. Unfortunately, levies on mass-based products like biscuits have been increased. In fact, the minister's approach to the food processing industry is not global. That is a major drawback.

Sunil Alagh is chairman, Britannia Industries Ltd

Budget 2001

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