TOWARDS BANKRUPTCY: The Tribune India


The most obvious comment on the speech of the Deputy for Finance at the presentation of the budget for 1922-23 is that the government of India is apparently making rapid progress towards file bankruptcy. There has been a deficit for four consecutive years, and the following year’s deficit is estimated to exceed the budgeted deficit of any previous year. In 1918-19, the deficit amounted to six crores; in 1919-20 it rose to 24 crores; the final accounts for 1920-21 show a deficit of 26 crores; while for the current year, it is estimated at no less than 34 crores. Add to that 90 crores the budgeted deficit of 31¾ crores for the following year, which, judging by past experience, is almost certain to be exceeded, and you have a total deficit, at the highest estimate. low, of 121¾ crores in five years, which equates to an average of more than 24 crores per year. In reality, the average is misleading in this case, because the deficit is gradual and it is unlikely that the previous figures will be reached again. On this point, even the member for Finance cannot keep any hope. “I do not think,” he said, “that these deficits are due to better times to come and that we are therefore justified in leaving things as they are in the hope that before long our revenues will once again be matched our expenses. I see very little chance that such a balance will be achieved in any measurable time frame. After making various assumptions of an optimistic nature, he adds: “I don’t think it can be said that if things are left as they are, balance can be achieved in any measurable time. This is of course only the plea for increased taxation, but it should be borne in mind that the question in this case is not whether, if we leave things to their own devices, there will be a balance, but if even with the additional income realized by taxation, the balance will be maintained.

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