With less than two weeks to go for the Budget for 2011-12, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and the government’s macro-economic managers have their plates full.
As a Hindustan Times-NDTV survey found, people want Mukherjee to announce measures that would bring down prices immediately.
Food prices have remained stubbornly high, pummelled by a supply crunch in staple vegetables. Weather problems in Australia, Argentina and Russia have hit global food and commodity prices, while oil prices have crossed $100 a barrel, making other goods costlier.
About six out of 10 people (57%) surveyed by Hindustan Times and NDTV are of the view that prices will be the over-riding concern in this year’s budget, while 20% people felt the government should concentrate on poverty alleviation measures.
Only 13% of people surveyed felt that growth in the broader economy should be the government’s topmost priority.
Corruption scandals are hitting political sentiment that can, in turn, hurt business climate.
A majority 60% of the people surveyed said there was too much corruption in the government for welfare schemes to benefit the poor. Nearly one in every three people felt there was no accountability on where the tax payers’ money goes.
The government has been under attack for inaction over scams and black money allegedly stashed away in tax havens.