If Nirmala Sitharaman’s first budget speech is anything to go by, it is clear that the Modi 2.0 government’s priority is investment.
India Today’s Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) analysed Sitharaman’s speech text delivered in Parliament on Friday and found that ‘farmers’, which was given utmost priority in Piyush Goyal’s interim budget speech, now fare much lower.
The analysis is based on Part A of the budget speeches by Sitharaman and Goyal made available on the finance ministry website.
Sitharaman versus Goyal: Choice of words
The top words that made it to Sitharaman’s speech this time were ‘investment’ (27), ‘infrastructure’ (25), ‘banks’ (24), ‘development’ (19), ‘technology’ (17), ‘capital’ (17) and ‘digital’ (16).
None of the terms related to agriculture made it to the top this time, which was the case in former finance minister Piyush Goyal’s interim budget.
The words that made it to the top of Goyal’s interim budget speech were ‘farmers’ (17), ‘development’ (16), ‘growth’ (15), ‘GST’ (15) and ‘poor’ (14).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is targeting a $5 trillion Indian economy by the end of his second term. To that purpose, infrastructure development, boosting investments and development of the banking sector become more important, and Sitharaman’s speech is exactly in sync with that.
Analysing PM Modi’s speeches earlier during Lok Sabha election campaign, DIU had found maximum mentions of the word ‘poor’. However, in today’s speech by Sitharaman, the word could find barely one mention. The word ‘poor’ appeared 14 times in Goyal’s budget speech.
Prior to the elections, ‘farmers’ found 17 mentions in Goyal’s budget speech. Sitharaman’s speech today mentioned ‘farmers’ only nine times.
Employment still not a priority
Right before elections, reports about unemployment figures reaching their peak were leaked and that had caused the previous Modi government some discomfort.
‘Employment’ and ‘jobs’ had six and ten mentions each in Goyal’s budget speech. However, these words got very few mentions in Sitharaman’s speech. While ‘jobs’ occurred three times, ’employment’ found hardly one mention.