The Union budget is much more than an economic statement for the country and her people. Of course, economics plays an important part in the making of the budget. Equally important is the policies and philosophies that work as the undercurrent in its formation. All these elements combine together and attribute extraordinary significance for the whole process of the budget preparation and presentation, its discussion and passing.
The crucial aspect of this year’s budget is to be understood along with the challenges faced by the Constitution itself. The greatness of Indian Constitution is derived from its approach itself. It envisaged: ‘We the people’ as the creators and masters of the Constitution. Its unequivocal commitment to sovereignty, democracy, secularism and socialism is the source of its politics and morality. Its concept of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity are all non-negotiable.
A budget, in a philosophical way has to do justice to the Constitution and its directive principles. The governments in power often due to class character and political orientation forget this. That’s why while one percentage of the population at the top hold more than four times the wealth held by 953 million people who make up for the bottom 70 per cent of the population. The government of the BJP that speak about sabka sath, sabka vikas has only added to this unjust income divide. Though the finance minister eloquently talks about the poor and unprivileged, the new budget also followed the same track. In essence the growing wedge between the rich and the poor is a challenge to the Constitution itself.