Bangalore International Centre had organised Panel Discussion on the Union Budget 2017-18 on Saturday, 4th February, 2017 at 5.30 PM. The Panelists were Prof. Charan Singh, Dr. M Govinda Rao and Mr. Narayan Ramachandran. Prof. S L Rao chaired and moderated the discussion.
It was noted by all the panelists that the Union Budget for the year 2017-18 which was presented on 1st February by the Finance Minister, was unique in many respects. This was perhaps the first time that the Union Budget was presented on 1st February. This was also after a long time that the Railway Budget was included in the budget proposals, and not presented separately earlier. Apart from being an annual statement of proposals for income and expenditure, budget also gave an opportunity to the Finance Minister for an enunciation of both long-term and short-term policies to revive the economy in the post-demonetisation period.
The panelists felt that the budget proposals were on expected lines, and have disappointed quite a few in the corporate world on the absence of big-ticket reforms to revive the sagging morale of the corporate sector. On the whole, all the panelists agreed that promises made before, and during, the last 3 years have remained unfulfilled so far. This failure is particularly pronounced in the area of creation of more jobs. However, there were no two opinions about the fact that during the last 3 years the fiscal deficits have, not only been contained, but also brought down. This is a most commendable performance. It also stands to the credit of the Government that amidst an alarming deceleration of the growth pattern around the world, India’s growth trend remained stable and steady.
The interactive session was animated and several members expressed their views, apart from eliciting clarifications from the panelists.