Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Holi!!

Slice of Life - I

The Other " Let's subscribe to the mint."
Me: Sure!! Do they give away free coins to subscribers?
The Other: No, they just got started, i don't think they are that badly off, yet!
Me: Which mint?
The Other: The paper, what did you think?
Me: Never mind!

And so it happened, that the desi avatar of the Wall Street Journal entered our house.

In abount 15 days, the paperwala got a frantic call at 6:00 a.m.
"Can you please get rid of the mint and give us the Economic Times again? "

Objective of post: Our review of the new paper.

Slice of Life - II.
P Chidambaram presents budget. Me sees it at the end of the work day, expecting no real surprises - this cheaper, that dearer, petrol higher, kerosene lower? ...

Boy! Were there surprises! That was a Richter 10.0 Budget!

My unanswered questions:
1. Farm Procurement Prices are not increased, but agriculture subsidy is increased. Are we making fishing easier or handing out free fish to get a few votes?

2. How will it be ensured that all this welfare freebie booty does not end up where it usually does - in the houses of the politicians and the bureaucrats?

3. Where are the audited results of the Education Cess Collections and expenditure of last year?

4. What is the selection ratio we are looking at in providing 1 lakh scholarships between 9th and 12th classes? Even at a measly estimate of roughly 5 million students in the target beneficiary group, we are left with a selection ratio of 1:50! What are we trying to achieve here?

5. After the Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, what was the pre and post per capita and average household income of the beneficiary families? How many beneficiary families did we have?

6. Why do we need a Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and a Singur at the same time?

7. Export of commodities stopped but forwards trading not stopped. Why?

8. Ban on skimmed milk to reduce prices of milk. What is the cause of shortage?

9. No analysis on the cause of general country wide inflation.

10. "Two lakh more teachers to be employed and five lakh more classrooms to be constructed. " - What about accountability for the infrastructure that already exists?

11. Defence Outlay increased by 7.8 percent - What is the breakup of this amount in terms of :
A. Increase in staff expenditure
B. Research and Development
C. Capacity building for all the 3 forces
What will we achieve with 7.8%?

My Take: This is not a nightmare budget. Nightmares are better.


Nabeel said...

happy holi to you too .. pictures?

dharmabum said...

woah, that seems like a carefully thought of analysis - i got a couple of things to learn. that comes with the admission that in these matters, i have no idea what all this means. i think its bad - coz us people gotta keep track of such things, ponder on them, and have intelligent debates.

thank you.

namrata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mathew said...

happy holi to you!!

A budget is all about compromises..either u satisfy the aam janata or do something to improve the country's coffers..and most of the time we go the populist way..the budget makes sense only if accountability is introduced for all proposals they talk about..

Aradhna said...

Very - Very - Very - Very thought Provoking post!
Never seen anyone analyzed budget like this before!

Neihal said...

our future economist ;)

How do we know said...

Hi Nabeel: I saw the pics on your blog, and they are really awesome!
We don't play Holi at home, so no pictures there! :-)

Hi Dharma: One more time, couldn't agree more..we need to understand what is happening and debate it!

Hi Mathew: So true! nothing will make sense till there is a sense of accountability for everything!

Hi Aradhna: Thanks!!!
Actually, this was not an analysis at all.. there is nothing to analyse in that budget - its pointless and directionless!

Hi Neihal: Ab to kya future badlega! Ab to jo ban gaye so ban gaye! :-)

Itchingtowrite said...

your questions will always remain unaswered. dont even bother to find out
loved your grasshopper story- so true

Blackcougar said...

Mint was returned in Mint condition to the vendor !

not been blogging in a while .. be back soon though !

How do we know said...

Hi ITW: I know.. guess I should just let things be..

Hi Blackcougar: Ok, trust things go gud with u?