Piyush Goyal's budget was expected to go after the voters and so it did - showering sops on almost all and sundry.
With Lok Sabha Elections 2019 a few months away, re-election economics took over.
The Modi government rolled out direct income benefits - though only Rs 500 a month - for farmers with less than two hectares of land, ladled out an additional Rs 2.5 lakh in taxless income for those earning upto Rs 5 lakh and assured a monthly pension of Rs 3000 for those in the unorganised sector.Our columnist Shankkar Aiyar called the "well-written and well-presented budget 2019" one that "ticked all boxes targetting farmers, middle class, organised and unorganised workers, pensioners and women".
He was even appreciative of the sops, which he said promise to stimulate demand and so will be positive for the economy.
But he noted that the long-suffering landless and tenant farmers remained forgotten.
An even bigger worry for Shankkar Aiyar was the fiscal math which he said was fuzzy given the shortfall in disinvestment and GST collection.
To get a sense behind the numbers in the budget, Aiyar went on to do the math behind it before sharing his finding on the money that the government would have to borrow every hour to fund its plans.
Here, then are the results of his number crunching:
The government will spend Rs 7627 crore per day. But it earns only Rs 5418.33 crore per day. So, it will borrow Rs 1928.76 crore per day... That is Rs 80.36 crore per hour.
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