Expert Zone

Straight from the Specialists

Budget 2014/15 reveals priorities, sets the stage

Photo
-

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The new Narendra Modi government rides on a long wishlist of policies and reforms, with limited resources. Budget 2014/15, as expected, reveals the government’s priorities in the near and medium term.

Arun Jaitley poses as he leaves his office to present the union budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year in New DelhiThe inflation moderation imperative overshadows near-term headline growth desires, manifested in aggressive (albeit challenging) fiscal deficit targets. The projected fiscal deficit of 4.1 percent (3.6 percent of GDP in FY16) versus the 4.6 percent recorded in FY14, is in line with expectations. The reduction in the budget deficit is driven by hoped-for revenue growth rather than depressed spending growth.

The spending mix is forecast to improve towards more plan and capital spending, which should bode well for the growth outlook. Curtailed non-plan spending growth and subsidies are also a positive.

This budget sets the stage for a future pick-up in growth, rather than drive acceleration in real GDP this year. It does outline both policy initiatives as well as specific schemes (albeit with yet limited fund allocation) to support medium-term growth recovery.

How to get India on the highway to high growth

Photo
-

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The president’s address to parliament this week lays out the new government’s roadmap to get India’s economy back to high growth. That will take time and is not easy either.

True, the BJP government led by Narendra Modi inherited a weak economy – growth was a mere 4.7 percent; industry was static; there was no employment generation; and inflation was at over 8 percent. The only comfort was that foreign exchange reserves exceeded $312 billion.

Budget 2013: Time for a responsible budget

Photo
-

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has promised a “responsible” budget this time around. According to Webster’s dictionary, “responsibility” is associated with a legal or moral accountability, reliability, trustworthiness in relation with some burden.

India Inc hopes for action on GST

Photo
-

(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

India Inc has time and again expressed its desire for early implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST). While implementing GST may take at least a year, the 2012 budget will clearly indicate the Centre’s seriousness in implementing GST.

  • Editors & Key Contributors