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Updated February 4th, 2024 at 12:13 IST

Populist measures would have jeopardised India’s macro-economic stability: NK Singh 

The central government chose to take the path of fiscal consolidation rather than populist measures

Populist measures would have jeopardised India’s macro-economic stability
Populist measures would have jeopardised India’s macro-economic stability | Image:@NKSingh_MP/X
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Budget 2024: After Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Interim Budget 2024 speech concluded, economist NK Singh told Republic Business that India's budget is embedded in confidence and trust as it didn't allow ensuing elections to lead to populist measures. 

"Populist measures would have jeopardised India’s macro-economic stability, and could have led to growth trends being diminished in the long run," said Nand Kishore Singh, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission. 

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The government chose to instead take the path of fiscal consolidation, he said. 

"In fact, the budget has over-performed in terms of commitments, while making a daunting promise of delivering 0.7 fiscal consolidation," the ex-IAS officer said, while further stating that the “continued trust of investors, rating agency’s augers well for India’s long term growth story.”

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Highlighting notable achievements of the country, he said, “India is the only nation to have recorded over 7 per cent growth rate four consecutive times, while the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projects 7 per cent growth in the coming fiscal year.”

On the agriculture front, he said, "Harnessing the agriculture in a creative way through new policy designed to benefit farmers, and new reforms for the use of fertilisers are good from the view point of the environment. 

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On the issued of climate change, Singh said “The boost given to rooftop solar show India’s commitment to renewable forms of energy, and reducing the energy intensity of economic activity.”

On the controversy regarding recommendations given by the 14 Finance Commission, he said,"The commission had given an award of 42 per cent to states. An award the next commission respected, and the central government accepted the 41 per cent award with 1 per cent being calibrated, as one of the states become a union territory."

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"The controversy today really lies in whether cess and surcharge should be part of the divisible pool or not, an aspect that  concerns the constitution, and not the financial commission,"he added. 

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 14:45 IST

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