Raghu (Rogue economist): Not only is the budget great but this is a wonderful time for me too, flitting from TV talk shows to snazzy seminars to fabulous five-star dinners. It’s a shame the budget comes only once a year. Real reform means having the budget every week, with cheerleaders.
Somu (Dipsomaniac): Sometimes I can’t sleep worrying about the fiscal deficit and sometimes I have these terrible nightmares of the deficit growing bigger and bigger into a kind of Frankenstein monster and I wake up sweating. Then I have a drink or 10 to calm my nerves. After the third drink the deficit stops growing, around the fifth it dances the Kuchipudi and by the 10th it lies flat on its back kicking its legs up in the air waiting for its tummy to be tickled. But while I am nervous about the fiscal deficit, the thing that worries me most is the booze deficit. I hope the budget has done something to address these twin deficits.
Lata (Maid with a BA in Economics): Just because we are humble domestic workers doesn’t give the finance minister and economists the right to insult our domestic product by calling it gross. They go on and on about how gross our domestic product is when we do backbreaking work day after day sweeping, swabbing and washing up. It’s their attitude that is gross. The finance minister must apologise and start calling our work stylish domestic product instead. Elegant domestic product would be even better.
Pappu (Strategic Thinker): I think this was a superb Make-in-India budget. Whatever else we may or may not make in India, we make excellent budgets. Our finance ministry must exploit our competitive advantage in this field and start making budgets for other countries too. Why, New Delhi may soon become the world’s budget-making capital. As it is we have a lot of expertise in manufacturing economic growth numbers — extending our imaginative skills to budget making is a logical value-added step.
Kantibhai (Surrealist tax consultant): It’s a very positive budget, particularly the insertion of clause 17(a)(z) after sub-clause (g)(xviiia) substituted, concocted and deemed to be allegedly fixated with asterisk no. 35,798 (ha)(ha), inadvertently digested with exclamation mark 56.011 which shall have the ulterior meaning assigned to it under the carpet. The finance minister would have done more had he not run out of sub-clauses.
Raju(Demented Plumber): What has Arun Jaitley done about leaks? After the leak in the petroleum ministry, even the finance ministry is affected, because subsidies leak like sieves. If a mere subsidy can leak so much, imagine what will happen when the main sidy blows a gasket. Clearly, professional help is needed. I recommend tightening the nuts, coating the washers and getting new gaskets.
Aryan(Rabid Traditionalist): Chanakya would have crafted a better budget.
Bunty-Monty(Schizophrenic writer of drivel): How was the budget? It depends. I’m usually anti-fiscal deficit in the morning and pro-deficit in the evenings, except on Sundays, when I have an energy deficit. At the moment I am anti-fiscal but pro-Sunday.
(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal.)