Welfare economics


Apart from a renewed dose of welfare economics ~ as opposed to pop variety ~ the striking feature of West Bengal’s budget for 2022-23 is that the state has extended for another six months the 2% reduction in the stamp and a 10% reduction in the “circle rate”, which is the floor price set by the government for real estate transactions.

Friday’s proposals aim to boost the real estate sector, a facet of the economy that ostensibly marks the landscape, both urban and rural. Buyers planning to buy homes will welcome the announcement from Chandrima Bhattacharya, the Minister of State for Finance (independent charge). The government is expected to earn Rs 6,990 crore from stamp duties and registration fees, which is an increase of 26.4% from the Rs 5,527.55 crore it earned in 2020-21.

Given the potential for job creation, there is little doubt that real estate has what they call a “multiplier effect” on the economy. And the tax rebate should contribute to achieving the objectives. The other relief that has been granted is that the government will maintain the two exemptions which will benefit the tea industry. She will not have to pay the rural employment and education tax in the following fiscal year. The other relief for tea estates is to be the exemption granted on farm income tax in 2022-23. The other cache of exemptions concerns registration fees and road tax for CNG vehicles for two years.

Theoretically, this should ensure cleaner air. When it comes to welfare and the benthamist doctrine of “the greatest good for the greatest number”, Ms Bhattacharya’s 3.21 lakh crore budget is riveted to the pursuit of welfare programs, even in them. extending to cover a wider net. Specifically, priority has been given to social security for the poorest of the poor in West Bengal. After all, the state has been on the verge of poverty for as long as it has.

The effectiveness of social protection schemes, both in terms of quality and coverage, will depend almost entirely on the seriousness of the purpose for which they are implemented. No wonder that a total of Rs 56,993 crore has been allocated to four departments which will be directly related to Panchayat, Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Backward Classes and Welfare tribal, without forgetting agriculture.

Programs currently run by the state government need to be improved and direct cash transfers retained. Above all, Lakshmir Bhandar, Krishak Bandhu, old age pension, widow’s pension and crop insurance. Obviously, there are no new projects, a hint perhaps of the lack of resource generation.

The departments that have been selected for implementation will, again theoretically, form the foundation of West Bengal’s welfare economy. Clearly, the state government is trying to generate demand by pursuing what it calls a “stimulus approach.”


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