Now I know for sure that the markets don’t understand “HIndutva”, else they would have touched upper circuits by now. “Hindutva” is distinct and separate from the Hindu religion: it is an ideology of political expediency, which was propounded by the late-comers/losers to gain some fast penetration amongst the hysterical Indians, for the secure Indians had already chosen Gandhi’s Congress. Their attempts at that time didn’t bore much fruits because the saintly status of Gandhi gave an aura of security to the unambitious Indians. However, now after liberalization and globalization, the aspiration of the people have risen manifold and the politically expedient “Hindutva” (can also be called “Moditva”) has shown them a chimera, which the people have ingrained in their dreams (or nightmares if you wake up from the sleep fast). However, this new “Moditva”/”Hindutva” is as shallow as its pre-independence version: it is an amalgamation of extreme conservationism in societal and cultural matters and classical liberalism in economic matters, which is nothing but the neoliberalism of the west.
However, whatever it is, the budget 2014 is on the expected lines and follow a clear vision of Modi, which I think the markets have failed to grasp. The first and foremost requirement of this vision is an insensitive and paternalistic security mechanism, which manifest itself in the budget in the form of heavy defence expenditure and the emphasis on the NE. The second, and the most important, requirement of this vision is preparation for expansive economic growth, which manifest itself in the expansion of cities, the penetration of private sector in the rural areas, the industrial corridors, the road infrastructure, and the expansion of the corporate debt markets and the banking sector. This area has been handled very cleverly in the budget. The emphasis on smart cities including housing and real estate, high tech urban transportation and infrastructure, digital connectivity, etc., is the first fundamental preparation for the ruthless neoliberal experiment; i.e., the preparation to ensure that the city dwellers remain entangled in the tiring engagements of the cities without getting any time to question the abuses of the corporatised economy. The penetration of the private sector in the rural areas through “Rurban” mission (the most dangerous proposal), the industrial corridors in the seven states from Punjab to Bengal, and the emphasis on road infrastructure, are inextricably linked and present a proposal to rape the still virgin Gangetic Plain (“Namami Gange”). Last but not the least the emphasis on the ever elusive corporate debt markets and the expansion of the banking sector is the third pillar necessary to fund the vision. This vision is also in alignment with the globalised view (or may be not, depends on your vision) in which the US and the West would concentrate on the high end creative growth and scientific innovation, and the East and the rest of the world would carry out the labour intensive production.
However, I am failing to understand how the emphasis on renewable energy falls within the vision. This is not genuine, for if it was genuine, the first emphasis would have been on the environment-friendly, slow-moving vehicles. I am reconciling it by assuming that the renewable energy industry is a lucrative industry offering high potential for growth, and the proposals for indirect taxes wrt renewable energy are an attempt to tap the potential.
I am not even interested in the details like the revenue lost because of the foregone indirect taxes, the expenditure breakup, the fiscal deficit, etc., because I know it is futile to even think of them. This is what India has chosen for itself; i.e. RAPE; so enjoy it as do rape victims after a while (atleast the MCPs/dogs so think).
©2014 Ankur Mutreja