It is budget time. The excitement which makes its customary presence is very much in the air. Government has very little room to give more to taxpayers. It has a heavy social obligation, weak tax prospects, and poor growth prospects staring at it.

The need of the hour is to think structurally and find long term solutions. This budget, therefore, comes with minimal expectations. There is limited pressure to meet fiscal targets. Taxation can’t be lowered for corporates.

In these circumstances, what the government can do is to present a vision to bring long term economic growth back, incentivise big-ticket investment, unleash the animal spirits of small enterprises, and bring consumer confidence among the middle class. It must focus on delivering a realistic budget. One which will translate without slippages and change the investment mood among the business community.

Thus, we are looking at a budget that goes beyond pleasing the stock market. The government must show that it has the resources and the conviction to take bold decisions, the courage to take calculated risks and that it trusts society to deliver.

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