Las locuras fiscales de la India

NUEVA DELHI -- El nuevo presupuesto de la India para 2008-2009 refleja menos la salud financiera actual del país que la irresistible tendencia de los gobiernos indios a usar el presupuesto nacional como un arma preelectoral. Año con año la India lucha por conciliar lo irreconciliable: estimular el crecimiento económico y la inversión, aliviar la pobreza endémica y alimentar su voraz apetito militar. El gobierno quiere que se note que le interesa el “aam aadmi”, el hombre común (que vota), y satisfacer al mismo tiempo las necesidades de los empresarios (que mantienen funcionando la economía).

En efecto, el nuevo presupuesto es una bonanza preelectoral para los votantes clave: disminución de impuestos para la clase media e incentivos para las grandes corporaciones del país. Para todos alcanza, incluyendo los 15 mil millones de dólares en exenciones crediticias para los pequeños agricultores.

A pesar de toda la atención que ha suscitado en años recientes la revolución de la producción minorista de la India, su destreza en el área de la tecnología de la información y la expansión de los sectores manufactureros, la agricultura, de la que depende directamente el 70% de la población, está en crisis. El crecimiento agrícola de la India disminuyó de un mediocre 3.8% a un todavía más raquítico 2.6% el año pasado.

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