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Budget 2014: Achche din aane wale hain, but terms and conditions apply

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This disclaimer is required because there are many Indians who feel the achche din (good days) will come immediately. They will not, as the promise is only that achche din ‘aane wale hain’ which translates to ‘are coming’. There has been no specific date attached to the statement.

In addition to this major clarification, the following terms and conditions apply:

– In almost all cases where achche din do not seem to be coming, there is nothing we can do as the root cause of these problems are the poor policies and decisions of the previous Congress-led UPA government

– There will be many instances where a section of society may feel aggrieved by a particular decision, even as other sections believe that achche din have arrived. For example, if cigarette and alcohol prices go up sharply, the decision will be interpreted as achche din by non-smokers and teetotalers, but not by smokers and drinkers.

– On promises such as keeping a check on food prices, achche din will come as long as there is no profiteering, hoarding and black-marketing. However, thanks to the corruption encouraged by the Congress-led UPA in the bureaucracy, administration and police across the country, profiteering, hoarding and black-marketing may continue unabated. In addition, God has a role to play by ensuring a good monsoon.

– On petrol, diesel and kerosene prices, achche din will come as long as there is peace in the middle east and other oil-producing centres

– In many cases, such as infrastructure, the achche din will come only after 6-7 years. If the BJP is not voted to power again, we cannot guarantee achche din in these cases.

– On the issues of governance, such as the instance when over Rs.1 crore in cash is believed to have been stolen from BJP MP Giriraj Singh’s residence, it is the failure of the Congress-led UPA that is to blame as they did not ensure the passage of a strong Lokpal Act.

– On issues such as the views of Goa minister Sudin Dhavalikar from the BJP’s alliance partner MGP on pubs, beaches and bikinis, it is good to remember that most Indian states, since they have no beaches (and consequently bikinis) are unaffected. Getting a license to run a bar or pub is almost impossible in most parts of India, so it is achche din for most citizens

– If industry and the stock markets are disappointed with some of the provisions of the budget (for example, if the if the retrospective tax is not scrapped), 1.2 billion Indians who do not work for the affected company will experience achche din as the government’s coffers will be replenished

– Nowhere is it stated that achche din will apply to all citizens on all issues, so if stringent steps are taken to reduce the fiscal deficit, it will be achche din for the stock market, but may not be so for the average citizen.

Finally, it must be underlined that all citizens must remember the Latin expression, “Caveat emptor” or “Let the buyer beware” and should have checked on the specificity of “achche din aane wale hain” before raising their hopes.

by Anant Rangaswami

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