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Still a Fudget: Why the Union Budget remains someone's version of the facts

One way to present a truer picture of the country's fiscal health is to switch to a system that recognises and reports off-the-books liabilities, writes T N Ninan

Arun Jaitley  |  Interim Budget 2019

T N Ninan 

T N Ninan

KP Geethakrishnan, finance secretary in the early 1990s, is credited with having called the Budget a Fudget—a reference to how the fiscal deficit was no different from many companies’ profit announcements: Someone’s version of the facts. Following the subsequent Budget presentation and before the cameras rolled at the follow-through TV show, your columnist asked the then chief consultant in the finance ministry, Ashok Desai, how much of a fudge the latest Budget numbers were. His typically crisp reply: “We have reduced the fudging by 50 per cent.” Today, of course, Fudget is an app for managing your personal finances.



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First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 16:22 IST