Perspective of ICAI on Union Budget: 2013-14-Proposal on Economics
March, 01st 2013
Finance minister P Chidambaram presented one of the most highly anticipated Budget of recent years, as the government looks to rein in a bloated fiscal deficit and restore confidence in Asia's third-largest economy. He stressed on development to be sustainable economically and ecologically. Sufficient allocation has been made to programmes relating to women and child. Health and education for all will be the priority for the government. India’s first Women’s Bank is a welcome step in the budget.
If India can build on its economic strength, it can be a source of stability for world economy and a safe destination for restless global capital. India’s GDP growth in 2012-13 is expected to be at 7.6 % +/- 0.25 %. Plan expenditure is placed at Rs 5, 55,322cr as proportion of total expenditure will be 33.3 %. Non Plan expenditure is estimated at Rs 1109975cr.
Concept of “Effective Revenue Deficit” and “Medium Term Expenditure Framework” statement are two important features of amendment to FRBM Act in the direction of expenditure reforms. The Endeavour is to keep central subsidies under 2 % of GDP in 2012-13. More sectors are being added as eligible sectors for Viability Gap Funding under the scheme “Support to PPP in infrastructure”.
India's greater worry is the current account deficit - will need more than $75 billion this year and next year to fund deficit. Fiscal deficit currently is at 5.3% of GDP this year and is expected to be 4.8% of GDP in 2013-14. The revenue deficit for the year 2013-14 has been fixed at 3.3 %.
Fiscal consolidation cannot be affected only by cutting expenditure, therefore wherever possible, revenue also must be augmented.
Currently India is the 10th largest economy in the world. By 2017, it can be 8th or perhaps 7th largest economy. It can be among the top 5 by 2025 if the right policy framework and proper implementation is followed.