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‘Govt relies too much on loans’

Opposition parties and economists in the Rajya Sabha expressed concern about the government’s dependence on large borrowings and the high fiscal deficit in budget 2009 —2010.

delhi Updated: Jul 15, 2009 01:38 IST
HT Political Bureau

Opposition parties and economists in the Rajya Sabha expressed concern about the government’s dependence on large borrowings and the high fiscal deficit in budget 2009 —2010.

Speaking at a discussion on the general budget in the Upper House, several MPs including JD(U)’s NK Singh, Independent MP Rahul Bajaj, nominated MP and economist C Rangarajan, Independent MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar, and BJP’s Arun Shourie expressed grave concern. Former Revenue Secretary N K Singh (JD-U) demanded a clarity on the fiscal position and said the country was in a debt trap.

The debt is at 87 per cent of GDP, he said. “The burden on outstanding debt per capita for current year is Rs 45,050 and by 2011-12, Rs 67,375. That the government owes over Rs 67,000 for every Indian, rich or poor, can hardly be a source of comfort,” he said and added “And the mantra of Oh Lord make me prudent but don’t do so now can result in the pessimism that the blessed be thee, thou shalt inherit my debt.”

With the government presenting the largest ever Budget providing all-time high expenditure exceeding Rs 10 lakh crore, the government will have to depend on borrowings close to Rs 4 lakh crore in 2009-10 as against Rs 2,21,472 crore

Independent MP from Karnataka Rajeev Chandrashekhar, said while expectations from all fronts were very high, this was “clearly a wait and watch budget”. He said the budget appeared “sensible” for the most part.

He strongly stressed the need for the budget to lay out bold, decisive and clear policy and administrative measures to achieve the economic goals outlined in the Economic Survey and raised several very specific questions on “the so-called inclusive growth architecture”.

Chandrasekhar also strongly urged the Government to ensure that bureaucratic politics do not creep into national institutions like the Armed Forces, which have maintained a perfectly apolitical and professional status all through these years.