There’s no greater treasure than self-control

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN sneaks into the shoes (XXL) of the Union Finance Minister:


“Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to present the Union Budget for 2007- 2008.

# For those of you who are prone to get hungry three times a day, I have provided relief as per Section 15 A.

Under this:

I have reduced the Basic customs duty for Cat and Dog food.

If people find it difficult to afford regular meal due to inflation, I recommend:

a) Cat food three times a day to be taken till next year’s budget. If anything happens to you meanwhile, remember cat has at least nine lives!

b) Dog food, five times every alternate day after finishing your job near your pillar. Please note, if you don’t have a pillar and if you use a lamppost, the concession duty will not be available to you as I have added a countervailing duty called the ‘Wailing Duty’ to the Basic Duty.

#If you are expecting your dreaded mother-in law, you can avail Section 18A under which I have completely exempted import of Dredgers from all kinds of Duty. I suggest first you import the dredger, and as a duty-bound son-in-law, export the dreaded M-i-L on the dredger using Export benefits Under Section 24A.

# Since you will not be able to afford a full meal after this budget, don’t despair. I have reduced the import duty of Non-Tobacco Pan Masala from 66% to 45%. You can now chew the Pan to your heart’s content with your P.A.N. card and make a meal out of it! The additional bonus is, there is no danger of getting cancer.

# I have reduced the import duty on all forms of Plastics and Fibres from 12 to 7.5%.I have also asked Food industries and Director of CFTRI V. Prakash to make light-weight Chapathis and Tandoori Rotis which will have more ‘fibre’ content. If there is indigestion problem, my State colleague and Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss can arrange medical test free of cost as I have already brought these specified medical Equipment under ‘Life Saving’ Category.

# If due to inflation and Sky-rocketing prices, providing food on the Dining Table becomes a major worry for housewives, do not worry. I have two solutions for this.

a) When our Rashtrapatiji Abdul Kalam retires in October this year, I will personally request him to study the Prices from ‘Rocketry Science’ angle and design a suitable ‘Debooster’ to bring the prices down. I have provided grant-in –aid of Rs.50 Crores towards this under Section 44CC.

b) Meanwhile, as a temporary measure I have reduced the duty on polished diamond from 5to 3%. This should keep you in good spirits, even if you go hungry.

Don’t for a moment think, I am like the French Empress who asked her subjects to eat cake when they couldn’t get bread!

# I had asked the Chief Ministers to distribute ‘Note Books’ to their MLAs and I believe they have already done so. But I understand from my colleague Mr. Dayanidhi Maran, a majority are awaiting ‘pencils, rubbers and ball-point pens’ for using the Note book. I have allocated Rs.100 crore for this purpose with equal contribution from the State Governments. This will be under Non-Plan, Non-Usable, and Non-Returnable Expenditure’.

# Ever since the prices of essential food article have sky rocketed, getting a decent meal has become a major problem in every household. Even I am facing the same problem with my wife, who incidentally is sitting in the gallery here with paper missiles. Hence I am expanding the drip irrigation scheme to include drips at household also so that people can avail of glucose drips at their home itself. I have brought Electral, Glucon D, brine, etc under ‘Life Saving’ category, which means nil duty. I recommend all taxpayers, Senior Citizens, Non-taxpayers to hoard these freely without any worry.

Mr. Speaker sir, finally, before I end my budget speech, I would like to quote poet Thiruvalluvar, who said in 200 B.C.

Guard your self-control as a precious treasure,
For there is no greater wealth in life than this’ (122)

I request my countrymen to follow what Thiruvalluvar said, in letter and spirit.

I would like to place the budget for 2007-2008 before the House along with the poem, both to be read concurrently.”