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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014
Budget this in
Hindustan Times
March 14, 2012
First Published: 23:09 IST(14/3/2012)
Last Updated: 23:11 IST(14/3/2012)

Where did you get that briefcase?

Shhh! This is the briefcase that has the finance minister’s Budget speech that he’ll be reading out tomorrow.

So what does the speech say? Does it have anything major on taxes?

[Scans through and flips through pages] Hmm. It’s just got one long letter addressed to Mamata Banerjee signed by Pranab Mukherjee and it’s written in Bengali.

Give it to me! I can read Bengali. [Scans the sheaves of paper]

Well? Does it talk about tax breaks? Fiscal belt-tightening through less public spending? Anything on FDI?

No. In the letter Pranab-babu tells Mamata-di how he plans to bring down hilsa prices through subsidies, pump in a few thousand crores to turn Kolkata into London, exempt taxes on anything that has to do with Rabindranath Tagore, force Tata Motors to return to Bengal and employ farmers in its factories, clear the full backlog of government employees’ salaries in Bengal if...

If what?

If Mamata stops making noises against the UPA and publicly endorses everything the Centre proposes.

Do say: Pleaj don’t gibh thee opposishun a handel.

Don’t say: You say potatoes, I say potahtoes; you say Mukherjee, I say Banerjee.


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