Then I started hunting through the budget papers looking for a bulky entry of Rs.60,000 crore for the debt waiver. This is 1.1% of GDP. It isn’t there. So there’s another 1.1% of GDP that’s off balance sheet. Why isn’t it there? I suspect it was a last minute addition to the budget speech.
We’re then in the worst of all worlds. If these calculations are correct, we’re down to a central gross fiscal deficit of 4.6%. In other words, we failed to harness the great business cycle upturn of the recent years to do the fiscal consolidation in these good times. And, we did this in the worst possible way: by setting up a new level of mistrust of Indian public finance data.
Read the whole thing.