Saturday, December 13, 2008

Budgets are boring - How can we make it simple and efffective

Just a random thought...

Have you ever wondered why your friends never sit down to watch the budget when presented in the parliament?

Because it is too long , too boring and with lots of technical economic jagron. The budget is for the common man. And most probably the common man of India will fall in the bracket of 21 years - 35years. Unless he is married , a young college going or just-started-working guy wont bother to watch it.

Wondering why FM's have to give us long and boring budget speeches and waste time?

Here is what he can do :

  • Give a ppt presentation covering the important points. He can just give the Income and Expenditure of the Year, then move on to point out what was the amount collected last year and what is to be allocated for each department in the forthcoming year. Simple one point and the amount highlighted. This should not go more than 30-45 min.

  • Start a website dedicated for Indian budgets alone ( with archives) and make it web 2.0 friendly . which means, make it interactive using RSS feeds, forums , blogs etc . The site content can be moderated by a young techie guy. He should be completed briefed throughout on what to be said and what not to be said in the website. You can find numerous such talented tech/management guys via civil services exam . Make sure you pay them good.

  • The minute the Budget gets over, digitize the entire contents online for everyone to read. Make sure the language is clear and simple to follow. The website can also have pop up tabs over technical words so that a 21 year old arts student can understand what the budget means to him.

  • Open tabs to give info like this " what the budget means to students" , " what the budget means to the senior citizens" .. one can work out the modalities later.

  • Let the government invite people from Finance Ministry, Planning Commission etc to contribute articles on what they think about the budget. This will ensure a dialogue between the common man and the ministers.

  • Use twitter ( profile created by the govt) to send real time info to everyone in the web. use other micro blogging tools as well.

  • Most of the "Babus" in the cabinet are not exactly net savvy. No problem. Once the Budget is done, distribute copies of the entire budget with the intricate details to the opposition parties and all other concerned parties and one copy to the press.

  • Budget can be made less boring, more informative, reach more audience and entirely fun and hence more effective and accountable if we can combine knowledge and technology .

what are your thoughts ?

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