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BW Businessworld

The Wealth Of Nations

In this issue of BW Businessworld, we seek to address - will the new government in May 2019 be able to keep the promises of this year’s Budget?

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The greatest evils and the worst of crimes is poverty; our first duty, a duty to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor. — George Bernard Shaw

When Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced recently that his government would give a universal allowance to the poor should his party form the government at the Centre, he was merely pre-empting the Modi government — which had been mulling the universal basic income scheme for some time.

Rahul’s cheerleaders called the announcement a game-changer ahead of the general elections. This was a move to attract millions of youth, specifically the unemployed youth.

This new war-cry reminds one of the ‘garbi hatao’ slogan that his grandmother Indira Gandhi had coined some five decades ago. Do slogans make a difference to the lot of the poor? If yes, why has poverty not vanished from India even after five decades?

Be it universal basic income, or farm loan waiver, these schemes are usually introduced in an election year with an eye on the electorate.

If the government is re-elected, it bears the brunt; else empty coffers stare in the face of the incumbent government.
This is the theme that we seek to address in this issue of BW Businessworld — will the new government in May 2019 be able to keep the promises of this year’s Budget?

Fiscal populism versus fiscal prudence is an age-old debate. A politician only thinks of the next government. A statesman will think of the impact of populist measures on future generations.

Our cover package will give you plenty to think about this post-Budget season.

This issue of BW Businessworld has a special interview with the mystic-spiritual guru Sadhguru.

The new phenomenon of spirituality and babas is not merely an urban fad. More so, if they make social interventions.

Sadhguru Jaggi Maharaj has undertaken many social missions including on rivers and education. He has strong views on school education, democratic processes, and India as a whole. His interview makes for a fascinating reading.

At a time when all discussions veer around elections, how does one ensure that one doesn’t go overboard? This is made possible if one has got strong institutions. This, to a large measure, is ensured by an alert bureaucracy. Distinguished former bureaucrat Anil Swarup writes in Last Word on what needs to be set right for the bureaucracy.

As we said, this is the election season. With the coming issues, we will give you glimpses of what might change. And what might not, with the onset of a new government. This will come along with nationwide and corporate surveys. Watch this space for more.

For the current issue, meanwhile, please do send in your feedback.

Happy reading!

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magazine 22 december 2019 editor's letter