The Union Budget Game:
Who wants to be the finance minister?
30 January, 2018
Crafting the budget is an annual reminder of a fundamental lesson of economics: we have scarce resources to pursue a multitude of goals.
While governments have more leeway to borrow compared to private firms or individuals, they too are subject to the constraints imposed by their creditors. Just as people and companies make tough decisions every day, so must policymakers accept trade-offs: pursuing one goal often means giving up another. But for the government, the stakes are much higher because the trade-offs involve the lives of millions.
In this budget game, you have a chance to play the finance minister. You’ll start by deciding what cuts are needed. Remember, cutbacks may upset people.
After making cuts, you can decide what to spend on and how much. Be careful: too much splurging will increase the fiscal deficit, raising borrowing costs, stoking inflation, and undermining the economy’s stability.
Below is a list of programs that policy makers have considered reducing or eliminating. Which ones are you willing to give up?
Hopefully, you’ve made enough cuts that you can add the programs you think are more important. What would you like to add?
You have not made any changes to the budget. Choose items to cut or to spend on.
1. The allocation for judiciary reflects allocation for judicial infrastructure as well as allocation for central schemes relating to legal reforms.
2. The allocation for modernization of police relates only to the funds alloted for modernization of police force, and not for other heads of expendture related to policing.
3. The budgetary allocation shown here for railways denotes the net budgetary support, and does not include other forms of financing for railways such as through the special fund for railway safety, Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh.
4. The budgeted fiscal deficit for the current fiscal was estimated to be 3.2 percent of GDP in the Budget last year based on the growth projection available at that time. But based on the latest estimates of GDP growth published by the CSO (which is lower than the earlier projection), the budgeted fiscal deficit turns out to be 3.3 percent.
Heart by Ker'is, Justice by Gregor Cresnar, Police by Arthur Shlain, Oil by Ayub Irawan, Fertilizer by Ayumi Aya, Capitol Building by Creative Stall, Modem by ProSymbols, Train by Creative Stall, Megaphone by Gregor Cresnar, broadcast by Manohara, Grains by James Fenton, Art by Becris, Herbal by Delwar Hossain, Outfall by Luis Prado, Training by Arafat Uddin, Jet Plane by Arif Fajar Yulianto, Teacher by designvector, Road by Sergey Krivoy, Factory by Laymik, power line by Creative Stall, Farmer by Luis Prado, statistics by Scott Lewis, farm land by art shop, Grandparents by Marie Van den Broeck