India's budgetary gambles

Ravaged by Covid-19 more than any other major Asian economy, India’s economy is on the comeback trail. But the 2021-2022 financial year budget unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Feb 1 takes some unusually bold gambles to put the economy back on a path of sustained growth.

If they work, India could regain its place as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and enjoy a “roaring 20s”, as some policymakers hopefully predict. If they fail, the economy could relapse into its sub-5 per cent pre-Covid-19 growth rate, weighed down by a job crisis, a blowout of the fiscal deficit and a mountain of bad loans in its financial institutions.

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