The print media has reacted almost positively to the 2013 budget presented by P.Chidambaram. Following is a gist of some of the national print media comments:
The Hindustan Times gave the budget a thumbs up with a headline: 'PC Offers Growth Tablet: Prudence trumps populism before elections: focus on emerging middle class, women youth". The report went on to say that the union finance minister had resisted the temptation to be populist ahead of looming state and general elections. "A joining of the dots reveals a clear patterhn: the first priority is growth and investment. Achieve this and the jobs and the ability to spend will follow."
Reflecting the general feeling that the budget did not set an early date or agenda for the polls, The Economic Times headlined: ' FM Doesn't Declare Elections: Boldly votes for Growth over politics." In the page one report, Swaminathan S. Aiyar said" Never before has a finance minister rejected populist giveaways so decisively in an election year. Never before has a finance minister sought to win the next elections not through tax breaks and freebies but by accelerating GDP growth and taming inflation through fiscal consolidation. Palaniappan Chidambaram has gambled on good economics proving to be good politics too. This is risky but admirably bold."
The daiy business paper Mint, headlined the budget report: "Politically correct, Economically not wrong.' The report refected what Aiyar wrote in the Economic Times and suggested it was a bold budget considering it had to look at the elections. " Chidambaram seems to have worked with a simple maxim in mind: if you cant do good, then at least do no harm... the filnance minister had to create political opportunity for the Congress Party that had been at the receiving end of a flurry of allegations of corruption in high office and mismanagement of the economy even as it had to face up to a resurgent BJP."
The Times of India headlined the budget report: PC nets big fish with a triple decker explanatory sub head: " Not so long ago, India appeared to be cruising towards superstardom. Then bad weather struck, at home and abroad. With the elections looming on the horizon, Chidambaram faces a twin challenge : Keep Congress hopes afloat while steering the conomy out of choppy waters. he's soaked the rich, made a splash for women and sought to shore up investments. "
The Indian Express headline recalled the 1997 'dream' budget of Chidambaram: " 1997:Dream, 2013: Wake-up" .The report went on to say that the budget began repairing an economy that has hurtled from a heady 9 per cent plus growth rate to an abysmal 5 per cent setting an auster tone through expenditure compression and some additional taxation.
The Hindu headline said: " Charging the Economy; Chidambaram takes a growth gamble on supply side.." the report went on to state that the budget sought to kickstart the engines of growth by providing incentive for productive investment stepping up expenditure in social sectors to invigorate the economy in the longer term and giving a token tax break at the lowest slab rate to offset the inflationary burden on the middle class. '
Overall it seems that economic editors are convinced that the budged will kickstart growth and that by resisting temptation to offer give-aways the finance minister has been pragmatic.