On the 3rd of March, Jaipuria, Jaipur held a panel discussion to discuss the all important Union Budget. “Unveiling Possibilities for ‘Make in India’ was the theme of the session, and many leaders in business attended to share their views on the newly released budget. The panel focused on the impact of the government’s first full budget; it is a budget that Indian citizens expect a lot from, so the panelists were brought together to provide meaningful insight about its relevance and possible effectiveness. Altogether, students were given an amazing opportunity to listen to leaders in respective fields discussing a topic of national interest.
Some of the big names present on the panel were Dr. Vijay Vir Singh, Professor and Director, Planning Commission Chair, Department of Economics, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur; Dr. Nesar Ahmad, Coordinator, Budget Analysis Rajasthan Center (BARC), Jaipur; Mr. Arvind Singh, Principal Correspondent, Times Now, Jaipur; and Mr. K C Sharma, Retd. GM, Bank of Rajasthan. Together, they participated in a lively discussion filled with invaluable insights that created an enriching experience for all the students in attendance.
Dr. Prerna Jain gave the welcome address and emphasized the importance of this budget for Indian economy. Dr. Prabhat Pankaj, Director, Jaipuria, Jaipur then focused on the changes that are being brought about by this budget and their significance. According to him, “It can lead to double digit growth; but for that to happen, the hurdles along the way need to be addressed.” Prof. Bhawani Singh Rathore then streamlined the themes of the conclave, which included fiscal consolidation, public spending in infrastructure, tax reforms and a focus on easing regulations on businesses.
The panel discussed a wide range of important business and economic concepts that management aspirants will factor into their decisions as professionals in the future. The opportunity to hear experts in the field discuss the budget gave students not only a basic understanding of these concepts, but also insight into their practical implications. The speakers showed great acumen when sharing their views about the different ideas propagated by the budget; in addition, they supported their ideas with examples that kept things simple and relatable for students. For example, Dr. Vijay Vir Singh focused on competiveness and growth, which are two important aspects of the budget. He was of the opinion that, “For India to achieve competitiveness the challenge lies in manufacturing zero defect products and cost competitiveness. In order to achieve the reality of ‘Make in India’, we have to work towards make India; we have to rebuild and create infrastructure.” He also highlighted the crucial point that two of the world’s largest economies, India and China, will have the lowest figures in terms of net job creation. This is, all panelists agreed, alarming.
Dr. Ahmad had another interesting take where he contrasted the trickle-down effect with a bottom-up approach. For him, the most important element of the budget was that it accepts the recommendations of the 14th Finance commission for sharing 42% of the central taxes with states and hence stresses on “cooperative federalism”. Mr. Arvind Singh wanted to know, “What will India make to become a Superpower. India has been a trading country and becoming a manufacturing hub might be a distant reality.”
Mr. Sharma kept up with the tone of the forthright discussion when he said that the budget has created a roadmap for double digit growth by focusing on the middle class. He believes, “The Finance Minister has been in a comfortable position with regards to Fiscal Deficit, Inflation and Current Account Deficit. Hence, ‘Make in India’ has been channeled in direct and indirect ways.” Thus, the discussion moderated by Dr. Anvay Bhargava brought to light important elements and missing links of the budget, which was a thoroughly helpful exercise for the students.
By Line: Keshav Sood