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|February 28, 2001||Feedback|
More political will needed: Madhya Pradesh CM
It would be a misnomer to call this a pro-growth Budget. The Prime Minister indicated he wanted a rate of growth of 9 per cent per annum.
But the Economic Survey tells us that the rate of growth is going down.
Fiscal deficit is growing. You're cutting plan expenditure while the non-plan expenditure is growing. How will this be good for growth? Growth and investment in agriculture continues to decline.
We had enhanced, in the Ninth Plan, allocations for rural development. While it is true that some states haven't spent their share, there is too much centralisation.
Take the rural roads scheme. For the last three years, the government has been collecting funds for rural roads.
But in order to spend this money we are bound by central guidelines. These come so late, that there isn't any time to float tenders and award them -by then the money has lapsed.
I have been saying, for a long time, that real growth has to be fuelled by the states and this can only come about if the state have the autonomy to decide how they want to spend the money.
There is a lot of tom-tomming about downsizing. Why isn't the finance minister downsizing where it is really needed like the department of posts and the ministry of railways? Simple.
The ministers won't let him. In a state like Madhya Pradesh, I retrenched more than 30,000 employees and took the political flak for it. Political will is needed.
This is a Budget dictated by the organised sector. Labour reforms are fine, but interests of labour also have to be safeguarded.
Source: Business Standard