Star News gears up for 'Budget 2004'

MUMBAI: While the finance minister is busy preparing the budget to be tabled on 8 July, Star News has lined up a series of special programming for Budget 2004.

The channel has roped in renowned economist and writer Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar for his expert comments during the series.

The special series will provide the common man with a platform to voice his expectations from the budget and will also look at the hopes and expectations of industrialists, the business community and the finance community from this year's budget.

The programming, divided into pre-budget, budget and post-budget from 27 June to 10 July, will present an in-depth sector wise analysis, says an officail release.

It will also look at the challenges facing the finance minister on various issues like rural debt, fiscal deficit, subsidies, service tax, excise duties, unemployment, education, infrastructure and the possible solutions.

Debate shows, public interviews, expert analysis, railway budget special and live coverage of the finance minister's speech will all be a part of the Budget 2004 special programming.

The pre-budget build-up has already started since yesterday with Dil Chahta Hai, a segment which presents the wish list of the individuals from various sections of the society.

Another segment to be launched is Tere Mere Sapne, a special segment, which will capture and present the dreams and hopes of diverse families from across section of the society. Here too the viewers have the opportunity to get their family featured on the show by writing in or via SMS.

These segments shall soon be followed by Sapno Ka Saudagar, a 30-minute show that will present the various budget projections and analysis featuring experts like Swaminathan Aiyar, corporate leaders, industrialists, economists and politicians.

Budget Bahas, which will kick start around the same time,is going to be an hour long program on debates between representatives of the ruling and opposition parties and more importantly will provide a platform to the aam janta or common public to seek answers to their various questions.

On 6 July, Star News will also air a special comprehensive report on the Railway Budget.

Last but not the least, a post budget analysis will be presented on Kya Khoya, Kya Paya beginning 8 July, which will look at the impact across various sectors of the economy and various sections of the society, adds the release.

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