ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fiscal Correction: Illusion and Reality

The story of fiscal adjustment in India is one of missed opportunities. The crisis did initiate reforms in right earnest, but once the immediate problems were overcome, rather than achieving fiscal consolidation, the attempt in successive budgets has been to create the illusion of achieving fiscal correction rather than really achieving it. The government has been concealing deterioration in the fiscal balance by placing emphasis on the fiscal deficit rather than more meaningful summary measures, and frequently changing its definition and method of measurement. Analysis shows that on a comparable basis fiscal deficit reduction has been marginal. On the contrary, other fiscal indicators have shown significant deterioration. Thus the claims about fiscal adjustment are illusory. Fiscal consolidation in India perhaps requires another crisis.

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