A good pre-budget analysis
What will he do? Clearly And systematically evaluates the issues, considerations and the approach that is likely to be adopted by the Finance Minister in Budget 2008. By the time this letter goes to print, the Budget would have been announced. But from an economic and political standpoint, a Budget that aims at demand-side financing rather than supply-side financing shall be a populist Budget, keeping in mind that elections are due in 10 states.
Sonali Malhotra, through e-mail
A timely editorial
Your editorial wanted: A new dEAL for India’s farms (BT, March 9, 2008) was bang on given that the Finance Minister has announced a huge loan waiver for farmers. P. Chidambaram’s USP lies in his striking the right balance: on the one hand, he’ll provide succour to the downtrodden and the other, he’ll provide generous grants to keep up the growth in the economy. He has provided for liberal investments in health, education and agriculture and also tried to please the common man by providing tax concessions.
Jacob Sahayam, through e-mail
Look beyond votes
You have done a great job by listing the 10 top expectations in What Will He Do? (BT, March 9, 2008). In fact, there should be public participation in Budget-making. And since that does not happen, the media takes on the responsibility by coming out with pre-Budget analysis. Budget 2008 was a gimmick aimed at garnering votes. Any misstep at this stage can have an adverse impact on the economy, given the already high oil and gold prices and also the recent IPO disasters.
Akhilesh Kumar Sah, through e-mail
Rein in the IT Department
What will he do? (MARCH 9, 2008), Is not relevant now as the Budget is out. But, yes P. Chidamabaram should do something about the Income Tax department. This year, reportedly about 400,000 cases, including 60,000 big spenders, are under scrutiny. There is nothing wrong in scanning big spenders and tax evaders, but the problem is that many small tax-payers might have been selected at random. And given how such cases go on for years and also the corruption involved in the IT department, some innocent people will be unnecessarily harassed. The IT department should go about it in a systematic manner and not pick people at random.
M. Kumar, through e-mail
Room for improvement
The survey on India’s best banks (Feb. 24, 2008) was relevant, thorough and meaningful. It goes without saying that no corporate body can survive in the market without making profits. And banks can be no exception. They, however, need to do certain things like give the required training to their staff at all levels, improve the quality of customer services, observe corporate governance, and get feedback from the staff and customers at the microand macro-level and then take remedial measures.
Mohan Kale, Pune
IT will make a comeback
The BPO sector was a major tool in the IT revolution in India (Will IT Make a Comeback, Feb. 10, 2008). The so-called “sunrise” industry is now in trouble. The IT sector has been hurt because of the rising rupee and the stocks of IT companies are not performing well. With nearly 14 per cent year-on-year average appreciation of the rupee against the dollar, the operating margins of IT companies have reduced drastically. Despite this, the sector is among the most profitable and fastest-growing industries.
Tariq Aziz, through e-mail
Vineet Nayar is CEO, HCL TECHnologies, and not President, as mentioned in The Larger-than-Life CEO Belongs to the Past (BT, March 9, 2008). In Acumen 2007 (BT, January 27, 2008), the question on Lawrence Sperry was answered by Sujit Varkey and not Jayashree Mohanka as reported. The errors are regretted.
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