Saturday, February 27, 2010

Changing the Current Left Wing Ideological Narrative - 2010 Budget

While our take on the 2010 Congress I budget is largely negative, at least we are happy to report on a data point in the change in ideological narrative. Instead of quoting sundry left wing populist Marxist economists, such as Amartya Sen, Pranab Mukherjee has quoted Kautilya's Artha Shastra three times during the budget presentation on the wisdom of lower taxes and wisdom of reduced government burden, meaning free economy and open trade, on economic life of people.
Kautilya, who was prime minister in the court of King Chandragupta Maurya, a contemporary to Alexander, in fourth century BC, was mentioned in another Budget presented by Yashwant Sinha in 1999-2000 as the then finance minister in the NDA government.

Delivering his budget speech for 2010-11, Mukherjee said, "While formulating them (tax proposals), I have been guided by the principles of sound tax administration as embodied" in the words of Kautilya.

He further quoted Kautilya: "Thus a wise Collector General shall conduct the work of revenue collection. . .  in a manner that production and consumption should not be injuriously affected. . .  financial prosperity depends on public prosperity, abundance of harvest and prosperity of commerce among other things."

We celebrate this data point in the change in ideological narrative towards the right.

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