## Monday, September 08, 2014

### The size of the task

Last year (i.e. 2013-14 RE), the fiscal deficit was 4.6% of GDP. The fiscal deficit budgeted for 2014-15 is 4.1% of GDP. The budget speech has said that the target for 2015-16 is 3.6% and then the target for 2016-17 is 3% of GDP. For India to achieve macroeconomic stability, this fiscal contraction is extremely important.

How are we going to get this overall gain of 1.6 percentage points of GDP from 2013-14 till 2016-17? The international experience suggests that sustained fiscal corrections are dominated by reduced expenditure; attempts at increased tax revenues tend to peter out as the economy changes its behaviour in response to short-termist tax measures. Hence, we have to focus upon expenditure reductions.