If there is one point on which the Union Budget 2021-22 has received bipartisan praise, it is the fiscal transparency it has brought into budgetary calculations.
By bringing hitherto uncounted expenditure heads into the budgetary numbers, and accounting for past dues, the budget has done away with the dubious practice of artificially underreporting the fiscal deficit numbers. While this is a welcome development, it has also raised questions on the exact amount of fiscal stimulus the budget provided in 2020-21 and will provide in 2021-22.
One argument is that since one-off expenses such as clearing past dues were part of the 2020-21 spend (revised estimates), then the increase in government spending in 2021-22 is much higher than the around 1% the budget documents show. A report in Bloomberg Quint hypothesised that the number could be as high as 9%.
Here are three charts which can help us understand this –
News Source : Hindustan Times