ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Paying for the Plan.

Editorial from Volume IX, No 20, May 18, 1957.

In its broad scope, boldness and imagination the budget presented by the Finance Minister on Wednesday was not only outstanding but it was perhaps the most outs t anding budge t eve r pr e s ent ed in the Indian Parliament. The Finance Minister had to face a most difficult and challenging situation; he has responded to it manfully. The problems facing the country are too well known to need recapitulation. These are inevitable for any country which wants planned development, made a great deal worse by lack of timely action. In a country of the dimensions of India, the magnitude of the problem is correspondingly large. There are inflationary pressures at home, an acute foreign exchange shortage, monetary stringency, budget deficit and to top it all, the problem of feeding the people is again rearing up its ugly head.

Though the broad outlines of the present Plan had been drawn up more than a year ago, grand strategy demanded that the question of resources for implementing the Plan should not be taken up until the elections were over and the Government saw more clearly the lie of the land ahead. Over the last two or three years, investment has been substantially increased and all that spending is having its impact on the economy, after a time lag of a year or two. The stresses and strains that are being currently experienced are at least partly, if not very largely, the aftermath of what had been done before. It would not be fair to hold the present Finance Minister responsible for allowing the deficit to grow and doing nothing about it.

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