FM’s word: deconstructing budget speech for keywords

‘Investment’ and ‘growth’ get far less mention than budget 2014

GN Bureau | February 29, 2016


#jean dreze   #arun jaitley   #budget 2016  
Finance minister Arun Jaitley presenting budget in Lok Sabha
Courtesy: Lok Saba TV

Going purely by the number of times a keyword is mentioned (or not mentioned), it seems finance minister Arun Jaitley too has finally given up on the two big promises of the BJP: investment and growth.Budget 2016

 
According to an analysis, ‘investment’ was mentioned 34 times in the 2014 speech, but only 23 times in Budget 2016. ‘Growth’ had 31 mentions back then, but now only 20.
 
MGNREGA found only two mentions in 2014, but only one today. Jaitley spoke of ‘nutrition’ twice two years ago, but the word didn’t feature anywhere today – signaling maybe it is not on the government’s radar. ‘Social security’ is down from one mention to zero.
 
And then there are some terms dear to a section of social scientists that find no mention in either budget. For what they reveal, they are: children, integrated child development services, midday meals/school meals, maternity/maternity entitlements, national food security act, and pensions (other than for the organised sector).
 
Noted economist Jean Dreze, forwarding this analysis, adds, “The latest budget speech perpetuates a chronic blindness to basic social needs. Children are not mentioned at all and nor are (say) nutrition, social security or maternity entitlements.”
 
 
 

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