Capital expenditure has been cut for police services, public construction and ironically various agriculture-associated sectors.
In the last decade, the US has been the leading funder for preparing and responding to global infectious outbreaks, and the delivery of basic healthcare to low-income countries.
Australia’s economy in more recent years has struggled to manage the end of a mining investment boom that underpinned much of its wealth.
Born out of a complete disregard for the poor and the state’s refusal to care for the destitute, the cuts proposed in the Trump’s budget are cruel to say the least.
As the state gears up to present its 2017-18 budget, utilisation of funds in 2016-17 has been below 15% in some “high-priority” areas.
There is an intensified need for the state to provide adequate, regular pensions for the elderly.
Both the Indian media and policymakers seem to have accepted the report’s findings and recommendations without even a whimper of nuanced discourse about the report itself.
No country that runs a government-driven system for technical and vocational education and training has been successful in doing so.
The Budget is passed by parliament on the basis of certain allocations for critical areas. How, then, can these allocations be drastically changed without parliamentary approval?
While media focus continues to be on low allocations, what slips past unnoticed is that even those amounts aren’t lived up to.
Unusual citations in the survey could indicate the awkward situation of the chief economic adviser, in the face of interference by the finance minister or even the prime minister’s office.
Providing a UBI in place of existing schemes will not change the fundamentally unequal income distribution in the country. The way to resolve the crisis is a redistribution from the rich to the poor.
Spending on Housing for All, road construction and other infrastructure projects is likely to create jobs, but it remains to be seen whether this alone will be enough.
The Budget allocation for the health sector is not even one-third of the target laid out in the draft National Health Policy.
The Budget appears to be pro-poor and pro-business, but it fails to address the reforms actually needed to structurally transform the economy.
Proposed amendments to the IT Act and the RBI Act will exempt political parties from keeping records of donations made through electoral bonds.
The opposition has submitted 651 amendments to the president’s address to the joint session of parliament – many of them contesting demonetisation.
Universal Basic Income is only an idea in the making, but within its first year of conceptualisation, it seems like the first two terms of the acronym have already been reduced to notional ideas.
The Scheduled Castes Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan have been replaced by ‘allocations for welfare of SC and ST.’
M.K. Venu, founding editor of The Wire, in a discussion with journalist Govindraj Ethiraj on the nuances of this year’s Budget.
The finance minister’s announcements on moving towards a more progressive direct tax structure and tax incentives for MSMEs are heartening.
The Budget does nothing to assure incomes for farmers, lift them out of indebtedness or protect them from natural calamities.
The Budget estimates of gross tax revenues for 2017-18 are the same as the revised estimates for 2016-17 – 11.3% of GDP.
Were the budget estimates for corporation and income taxes in 2016-17 a typographical error or have they been carefully massaged?
Not only has the Budget failed to include measures to fix the damage caused by demonetisation, it also hasn’t taken advantage of the opportunities created.
Social Security Provisions for Assam’s Tea Garden Workers in Budget a Step Towards Amending Plantations Act
Centre has allocated Rs 771.10 crore for a social security scheme, which is likely a move towards doing away with the ‘in kind’ component of wages paid to the plantation labourers.
Proposed amendments to RBI Act, IT Act and RP Act would leave the RBI and IT department with no means to probe funding of political parties.
Instead of taking concrete measures on energy, the government is dangling some tantalising proposals.
While the Budget’s effort to include electoral funding issues is commendable, a closer look at the provisions tells a different story.
A large amount of the already inadequate budgeted expenditure is on non-targeted schemes, which are barely useful for the development of SC/ST communities.
Activists says solutions should be holistic, piecemeal announcements like making 500 railway stations disabled-friendly will not help much.
Many feel the move is pointless as lowering the disclosure limit requires an amendment to the Representation of Peoples Act, which remains unchanged.
Most party leaders think that the focus on digitalisation as a way to improve people’s material realities may be off the mark.
What the health sector needs is much greater attention – in terms of both financial and human resources – to meet the demands of providing universal and free healthcare.
While there has been an overall increase in allocation, this is most likely money that went unspent in last year’s defence budget. This is indicative of systemic inefficiencies in the capital acquisition process.
The largest slice in the foreign aid pie is still reserved for Bhutan, though it has dropped by one-third compared to the initial allocation for 2016-17.
While the planned expenditure on irrigation is commendable, Gulati told The Wire, the major disappointment was the lack of talk on direct benefit transfers.
No matter what steps the government takes, the Indian economy will not revive till real interest rates are lowered.
Expenditure announced does not seem to have any connection to what has worked (or not) in the past.
The dichotomy between the interest of finance capital and the needs of the social sector has never been starker.