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General Election And Interim Union Budget 2024-25 – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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The IMPRICenter for the Study of Finance and Economics (CSFE),  IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, hosted an interactive panel discussion on the topic “General Election and Interim Union Budget 2024-25” on 2 February 2024, under the IMPRI 4th Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Union Budget 2023-24, as part of IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk. 

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Bhanvi

The IMPRICenter for the Study of Finance and Economics (CSFE),  IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, hosted an interactive panel discussion on the topic “General Election and Interim Union Budget 2024-25” on 2 February 2024, under the IMPRI 4th Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Union Budget 2023-24, as part of IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk

The budget panel discussion was chaired by Prof Nilanjan Banik, Visiting Consultant, IMPRI; Professor, Mahindra University, India. To start, he gave a brief overview regarding the growth trend of the Indian Economy and what prospects it accumulates in the coming future. Moreover he stressed the rise of the working-age population based on the analysis of Periodic Labour Force Survey data (PLFS) as well as there is positive growth trend in manufacturing sector compiled with controlled inflation and fiscal deficit.

Moving further, Professor Anurag Banerjee, a Professor in Financial Econometrics, at Durham University discussed the impact of budget on lower and middle-class sectors. He discussed the composition of lower-income people in the economy and how inequality generally impacts the growth rate.

Taking the discussion forward Mr Saugata Bhattacharya, Former Chief Economist, Axis Bank discussed the intricacies related to fiscal deficit and the seriousness of government to reduce the fiscal deficit shortly as well. He mentioned various macroeconomic financial implications- the first one was that to increase revenue one had to compress the expenditure. The second one was that it affects the borrowing capacity of the government, and third, he mentioned controlled inflation.

The third panelist of the discussion Mr T K Arun, Independent Journalist drew a contrast regarding income inequalities between the lower and upper strata of the society and briefly outlay their consumption pattern that impacts market demand and supply. He mentioned government policies and schemes such as MGNREGA, and respective budget allocation.

There has been an increase in the allocation of capital expenditure will increase the country’s GDP. He further highlighted the strengths of the budget as it is inclusive and multi-targeted and has schemes for all sections of society be it women, tribal, poor, farmers, etc. However, he raised his concern regarding the formulation of schemes without any policies which is the real cause of concern. He concluded by explaining the impacts of fiscal consolidation on large economies like India.

Dr Rajesh Shukla, Managing Director, and CEO, of People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE) ICE360, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur threw some light on the Indian consumer market about the household sector. To support his argument he compared datasets of Pre-  Covid, During Covid and Post- Covid scenarios. 

He discussed three essentials that are necessary to focus upon while comparing different sectors that were that all states are not equal in terms of growth be it Punjab, Bihar, Kerala, etc, then there is a difference between developed and developing states, and then look from top to bottom pyramid structure of the states. Concluding his point of discussion he mentioned that there has been a reduction in real earnings of households that leads to rising inequalities in the developing world.

Prof NR Bhanumurthy, Vice-Chancellor of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar School of Economics University, Bengaluru couched his commentary by comparing the comparison of India with other countries and believed that the budget is optimistic. Drawing a streak comparison between the global crisis in 2008 and to COVID crisis in 2019. Further, he expressed his view that the Interim Budget is bookish and not a political budget. He straightforwardly mentioned about Public debt-to-GDP ratio and how it acts as an anchor for the consolidation of fiscal deficit. Moreover, the budget also focuses on reducing inequalities among ratios as it focuses on outcomes that increase public expenditure efficiency.

Dr. Pooja Misra, Professor of Economics, BIMTECH, drew the attention of the audience to the lack of implementation of a national monetization pipeline. Then she focussed on skill development which was the key area of the Interim Budget 2024-25 there has been an increase in employable opportunities for skilled youth but still, this sector needs to be looked upon. National Education Policy and Health Education are the two major areas that need to be stressed as to developed economy there is an urgent need to focus on skilled and semi-skilled training institutes. She discussed Vocational training, digital India, and the focus that needs to be put on R& D as well as S&T.

In a nutshell, she focussed on the development of educational institutions on a large scale for inclusive growth and development that will ensure sustainability to the country’s GDP as well.

In sum, the budget discussion spanned positive views to constructive critiques Lastly, the Q&A session covered issues like social sector, fiscal prudence, and economic multipliers. Prof Nilanjan Banik concluded the event by extending gratitude to the IMPRI team for successfully hosting the panel discussion and ensuring its smooth execution.

IMPRI’s 4th Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Interim Union Budget 2024-25

IMPRI’s 4th Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Interim Union Budget 2024-25

Watch the event at IMPRI #Web Policy Talk

Bhanvi is a research intern at IMPRI.

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