Governments Change, Budgets Don’t

The much anticipated Union Budget was presented in the parliament by the Finance Minister last week. Like every year, this year’s budget too contained numerous initiatives by the government to tackle the problems of agriculture, unemployment, public education, public health, slow growth, poor infrastructure, etc.

On the face of it, it looks like several new policies are proposed to solve the persistent public policy problems. For public health, a flagship National Health Protection Scheme is announced that will cover about 50 crore beneficiaries. To relieve the distress in the agriculture sector, the budget promised a return of 50 percent on production of certain crops through higher minimum support prices. Several other new schemes were announced that targets specific groups.

But are these really new initiatives? Are they really capable of solving the policy challenges facing India?

In the chart below, we take a look at the differences between positions of Congress and BJP on various policy issues.

It is obvious that no matter which political party is in power, their policies remain the same.

People vote out one political party for another in the hope that the new government will address the problems that the old one was unable to solve. Unfortunately for the voters, every party has identical solutions to address their problems.

Is it rational to expect that just by changing the people in-charge, the problem will get solved?

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