Budget 2021: Numbers more credible, achievable than previous years, says India Ratings

Budget 2021: Numbers more credible, achievable than previous years, says India Ratings”

"Deficit targets presented in India's central government budget on February 1 are higher, and medium-term consolidation more gradual, than we expected", Jeremy Zook, director Fitch Ratings' Asia-Pacific Sovereigns team said in a note on Tuesday. We shouldn't worry about the fiscal deficit right now, instead focus on quality expenditure.

This was funded through government borrowings, multilateral borrowings, among others, she said, adding that the government needed another Rs 80,000 crore for which it would be approaching the market in the next two months.

Meanwhile, the fiscal deficit more than doubled to Rs 18.48 lakh crore in 2020-21 (revised estimate) from Rs 9.34 lakh crore in 2019-20.

The FM said that COVID-19 resulted in weak revenue inflow while the expenditure scaled higher to provide support to the lower-income groups and those affected during the pandemic.

Announcing the Budgetary proposals for the 2021-22, Sitharaman also proposed a sharp rise in capital expenditure of the government and provided 554,000 crore Indian Rupees (75.8 billion US dollars) which is 34.5 percent more than the Budget Estimate of 2020-21.

More news: Biden Discussing COVID-19 Aid With Dems, Wants Fast Action

The budget projects a narrowing of the central government's fiscal deficit to 6.8% of GDP in fiscal 2022 from an estimated 9.5% in fiscal 2021. For FY21, the fiscal deficit was pegged at 3.5% in the Budget announced in February a year ago.

It is estimated that total expenditure will increase by 1 percent in BE 2021-22 over RE 2020-21 to reach Rs 34,83,236 crore, which is 15.6 percent of GDP.

"While we now see no material effect from the Budget on key credit factors, the economy's brightening growth prospects will be critical to maintaining the sustainability of public finances, with general government debt likely to hover at more than 90 per cent of GDP over the next few years".

Sitharaman added that the Centre aimed to reach under 4.5% by financial year of 2026.

At the beginning of the joint session of Parliament on Friday, Modi had also said that the Finance Minister had already announced 3-4 mini budgets and that the 2021-22 Budget would be a historic.

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