Mystery surrounds the UPA government's decision to present a flat Interim Budget /Vote-On-Account (VoA) — devoid of any tax changes/fiscal measures. Standing finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has cited constitutional propriety to justify his playing by the book.
Why then did the UPA forgo an opportunity to come out with a few vote-catching fiscal proposals just ahead of elections?
The Opposition, which in normal times would have been well within its right to cry foul, would have appeared churlish in blocking say, tax/duty incentives/rebates for the salaried middle class or industry or for investors, given the urgent need for an economic recovery.
All these questions have spawned a range of speculative answers, none of which can be confirmed. The one that's doing the rounds the most is that the Congress high command did not want Mukherjee, who's standing in for a still-recovering Manmohan Singh, to steal the thunder with a flurry of crowd-pleasing proposals.
According to this version, the government might in the coming days come out with a third stimulus package.
There has always been rumors of High Command not being comfortable with Pranab Da's ambitions. Has India become the sacrificial goat to satisfy Congress internal Political Pulls and Pushes?