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The presentation of the Union Budget to Parliament is fast changing from the Constitutional requirement which speaks only of an annual statement about the receipts and expenditures of the government. One can understand the presentation going beyond this and dealing with the macroeconomic situation and offering proposals that fall within the remit of the finance minister. However, over the years, governments, eager to use the wide media and public attention that the Budget presentation attracts, are making it a propaganda vehicle for sketchy sectoral initiatives that can capture media attention.
This year’s Budget is a prime example of this. Out of the 168 paragraphs of the Budget speech, the preliminaries, the discussion of fiscal management, and the tax announcements constitute just