The Great Budget Tamasha

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Every year on 1st February , everyone is glued to the television like children sit when someone is handing out candies. There is a mad rush by people to sound intelligent, give quotes (Yes I am guilty of several), do detailed analysis and in the end waste everyone’s time .

I really don’t understand the tamasha around the budget. Why is it given so much importance? Nowhere around the world is the budget celebrated like the way it is here. Yes there are business reasons for this day to be as popular as Valentine’s Day. Media spends are higher because eyeballs are higher so it better be made so important THAT THE ENTIRE NATION WANTS TO KNOW!

Just think about it for a moment…What is this budget? A budget is nothing but an annual financial statement of the government. It is simply a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the government for that particular year. Yes some of the decisions impact us at the TAX level (Some Tax Slabs change here and there ), some stuff around Capital Gains /Dividends (Not always) and some things that affect the prices of goods & services that we all buy (cost of living goes up or down) . That is all there is to know about the budget and it can be summed up in 1 or 2 paragraphs. I can be as detailed as possible but I really value your time and mine so I try to be as simple as possible and as relevant (Don’t think this guy is not intelligent and does not know his stuff…I promise I do know my stuff.)

Most of us don’t even know our own personal budgets and yet we are all obsessed with what the FM is doing…You will see solid headlines and commentaries over the next few days. The impact of the budget on the stock markets too is NIL in the long run. The markets react to any news and information so you will see some reactions for a few days but then the markets are back to the fundamentals (and hence generally there is NO IMPACT.) I sincerely request you to not waste your time or obsess over it.

Wasting time on the Budget IS INJURIOUS TO YOUR HEALTH, WEALTH and OTHER THINGS (Think of all the things you can do with additional time.)

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