Is there political consensus on the budget that P Chidambaram is going to present on the floor of the Parliament on Friday?
If political leaders across the spectrum are to be believed then there is none. "The government chooses to do the one or two things on which there is no consensus," said BJP leader Piyush Goyal. Speaking to Sagarika Ghose on a late night discussion on CNN-IBN, he said,"The government could not have passed the Companies Act Bill and several other bills had it not been for our support. But the government always went ahead and introduced things like FDI in retail on which there was no consensus."
However, the opposition cannot be blamed for this regard because there was no response from the government from key critical areas. There are several questions that the BJP have raised in the last eight months on important bills like the GST but the government has not gone back to them, he added.
"The government also does not sell reforms well. It has to sell the reforms well so that the entire country can agree to it, said BJD leader Jay Panda in the same panel discussion. The government suffered from a lack of consistency on its economic trajectory and that is a key reason growth why growth has been stalled, he added.
According to him, the government also did not make an effort to reach out to the opposition parties on critical parameters of important schemes owing to which they risked failure. For instance, he said, "There are no bank branches in several of the block capitals in my constituency in Odisha that have implemented cash transfers. And there was no consensus within two factions of the government on the issue."
He however said that the opposition parties cannot be called obstructionist in the budget because the government itself has been dragging its feet on several issues like the Goods and Services Tax. "If only the government would reach out to the state governments and assuaged their fears about underwriting their losses, then this would have been avoided", he added.
To watch the entire discussion Face the Nation on CNN-IBN click here.
Updated Date: Feb 26, 2013 14:37 PM