Biocon chief Kiran Shaw tweeted her expectations of the Union Budget - to be presented at 11 am by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman - this morning, describing the economic slowdown as "cancer" and urging the government to treat it with "immunotherapy not chemotherapy" and address causes rather than the symptoms of the slowdown.
Budget 2020, the third in a span of one year, will seek to kick-start an economy staring at its worst pace of expansion since the 2008/09 global financial crisis. The government is widely expected to increase spending on infrastructure and cut personal tax to spur consumer demand and investment.
"Our economic cancer needs immunotherapy not chemotherapy. We need to treat the causality not the symptoms - hope #Budget2020 takes this approach. Wealth creation is a key part of our economic immune system! Waiting eagerly to hear Fin Min @nsitharaman," Ms Shaw posted on Twitter.
Kiran Shaw drew on her bio-pharmaceutical expertise to explain the issue, referring to fiscal incentives - measures the Finance Minister will deploy to boost growth - as CART-Cells that "specifically target the economic cancer".
"Fiscal incentives are like CART-Cells to specifically target the economic cancer. Government investments in infra, healthcare, education etc. are like T-Cells to address the malaise broadly," she added.
Fiscal incentives are like CART-Cells to specifically target the economic cancer. Govt investments in infra, healthcare, education etc are like T-Cells to address the malaise broadly. https://t.co/E34R62pGMj— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) February 1, 2020
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells are cells genetically engineered to produce an artificial T-cell receptor for use in immunotherapy.
In her budget today Ms Sitharaman will be expected to find answers to a downward-spiralling GDP growth rate; this slowed to 4.5 per cent in the July-September quarter - the weakest pace since 2013.
In addition, consumer inflation - rate of increase in consumer prices - has worsened to a more than five-year high thanks to rising prices of vegetables, especially onion.
Problems of rising prices and poor tax collection have been made worse by high unemployment levels; as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), current unemployment rate is at 7.5 per cent.
Additional issues include a crisis in the auto sector and farmers under stress nationwide.
Ms Sitharaman must balance all these issues hampered by a shortfall in tax collections in this fiscal that amounts to nearly Rs 2 lakh crore.