The Bangalore International Centre (BIC) organised an interactive discussion on the Union Budget 2009-10 on 2nd March, 2009 at 6 pm. The Theme of the discussion was “Recession and the Interim Budget – Prognosis”. The Panellists were Dr. Vinod Vyasulu, Director, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies and Dr. Narendar Pani, Professor and Dean, School of Social Sciences, National Institute for Advanced Studies. Dr. Vyasulu also moderated the discussions.
In a lucid analysis, Dr. Pani outlined the growth and development of the financial melt-down in the USA and how it gradually impacted on our economy – initially through sensex and thereafter through the banking system. Dr. Pani did not think that India was in a classical recessionary mode, even though there was a significant slow-down in the growth-rate of the economy. He felt that the interim budget (2009-10) presented in the Parliament did not really seek to tackle the slowing down of the growth-rate and that it was aimed more at pleasing the sectors constituting the traditional vote-banks, in view of the impending Elections. He referred specifically in this respect to the huge fertiliser subsidy in the in the Interim Budget. Dr. Vinod Vyasulu supported the basic contentions of Dr. Pani and draw attention to the fact that the leakages within the implementation agencies, inefficiencies and inappropriate priorities are unlikely to boost up the domestic demands in any significant manner.
Prof. S L Rao, Shri M R Sreenivasa Murthy, Dr. J Gururaja, Smt. Sreelakshmi Gururaja, Shri Sushil Haksar and several other members took part in the animated interactive session that followed. A very productive and stimulating evening for those who attended the programme.