The Narendra Modi government recently delivered the 2019 interim budget. As the last budget before the Lok Sabha elections, it included various pre-poll promises and big announcements such as a pension programme for workers, an income support scheme for farmers and tax rebate for middle class taxpayers. While the budget was criticised for being populist, it is also necessary to examine how it impacts key areas of concern such as health, unemployment, and education, especially in a post-demonetisation and GST economy. In this curated media commentary below, CPR faculty analyse the 2019 Interim Budget.
- Yamini Aiyar comments in the ‘Hindustan Times ’ on the politics of the interim budget 2019 and the long term implications of the shift towards income transfers as a model for welfare.
- Avani Kapur of the Accountability Initiative at CPR writes in ‘IndiaSpend ’ that a look at the government’s financial commitments to the social sector suggests that ‘it still has no clear idea on how to realise its vision.’ Kapur compares allocations for flagship welfare schemes between 2018-19 and the latest interim budget and finds that rural development, health and maternal welfare schemes have been underfunded. She further reiterates this in ‘Deccan Herald ’ highlighting that ‘the Budget speech also made no mention of education.’ Kapur writes in ‘ThePrint ’ that despite a focus on rural development, allocations in this area saw a marginal increase. She also appeared on an interview with ‘The Wire ’ discussing the health budget and how Ayushman Bharat got a silent boost.
- Kiran Bhatty writes in ‘The Wire ’ about how how critical areas of education and unemployment were left out of the interim budget. She highlights how the vision of the government ‘systematically excludes the poorest and most marginalised and avoids confronting one of the biggest crisis in the economy: that of employment and the employability (and education) of the youth.’