Missing fiscal deficit target is in Budget DNA

Now that the din over the Union Budget has died down, it’s worth asking: Does the fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) make any sense at all? The finance minister told us in her Budget speech that we will miss the targets for 2019-20 and 2020-21 by 0.5 per cent. Nirmala Sitharaman sounded prim and proper on the subject. The deviations, she said, were in accordance with the “trigger mechanism” provided by section 4(2) in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.  The section allows the government to deviate fr.....

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