Macroeconomic Frameowrk of Union Budget 2021-22: Reconsidering the Fiscal Rules

  • Lekha Chakraborty
  • Mar 2021
  • National Institite of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP)
  • India

Extraordinary times require extraordinary policy responses. Against the backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, the union finance minister has announced a high fiscal deficit of 9.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in revised estimates (RE) 2020–21. This is against the pegged deficit of 3.5% in budget estimates (BE) 2020–21. Simultaneously, the finance minister has also announced an excessive deficit procedure to bring down the high fiscal deficit to 4.5% of the GDP by financial year (FY) 2026. High deficit has no fiscal costs if it can be substantiated with increased public investment or “output gap” reduction. When the monetary policy stance has limitations in triggering growth through liquidity infusion and the status quo policy rates, “fiscal dominance” is crucial for sustained growth recovery.