South Asia and Beyond

Budget 2024: A Master Class in Good Economics

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s sixth essay, also a pre-poll budget, was a pleasant surprise. Despite the challenge of facing a two-term anti-incumbency, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) passed on the opportunity to lure voters with freebies. Instead, it reiterated its commitment to fiscal dharma and laid down prudent fiscal targets.
In doing so FM Sitharaman has set a precedent. Is this a structural break? Will politicians be brave enough to no longer sacrifice good economics for short-term political gains that blow a hole in the country’s exchequer?
To answer this, Anil Padmanabhan spoke to Haseeb Drabu. Haseeb is an economist and former FM of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Anil Padmanabhan

Anil Padmanabhan has been a journalist for the last 36 years. He has worked in various capacities in several publications including Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Press Trust of India, Business Standard, Mint and was based in New York for India Today. He was a Nieman Fellow in 2001. He tweets at @capitalcalculus.