A day after the Union Budget was released, BETA, the Finance and Investments club of IIMA, organized a panel discussion on campus to analyze the budget and its impact on the economy. Professors G. Raghuram, Jayanth Varma, Satish Deodhar, Sebastian Morris and T. T. Ram Mohan presented several insights and opinions in front of a jam packed audience comprising the IIMA community, students from local colleges and media representatives.
Though there was a general consensus that the budget has hit the right note overall, reservations about the government’s ability to follow up prescription with implementation were voiced. Further, high interest rates were identified as the major impediment to the India growth story, and as such stress was laid on the importance of the central bank’s willingness to mould monetary policy to complement fiscal measures. It was established that a renewed focus on growth was key to achieving fiscal discipline in the long run.
In light of the global financial crisis and the resultant decline in capital available to India Inc. abroad, the need for developing efficient and mature capital markets in India was recognized, and initiatives like The Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme were hailed as steps in the right direction. The panel also applauded the efforts of the Railway Minister in taking unpopular but effective policy measures such as rate hikes and setting up commissions for railway safety.
The discussion was followed by an involved Q&A session that witnessed enthusiastic participation from a well-informed audience.