No economist, policy maker or even CEO of an Indian company believes that the government would be able to hold 3.3% fiscal deficit in 2019-20. Some leeway is bound to be there in a year when outlays are growing and inflows have been tepid. But there are four key issues to tackle with the fiscal deficit.
Stay within the leeway
This year the government may not have much of a choice but to offer a counter cyclical approach to growth. It will have to give some leeway on the fiscal deficit front to propel growth but the question is how much? Ideally, the government should stick to the limits prescribed by the NK Singh Committee which permits a maximum deviation of 50 bps in an exceptional year. If the government can hold the fiscal deficit at less than 3.8%, it will be seen as a positive move. Continue reading