FM's solution to fiscal deficit: Earn now, spend next year | Business Standard

FM's solution to fiscal deficit: Earn now, spend next year | Business Standard

Online comments posted on January 15, 2014:

Sometime back, this paper had reported finance ministry’s pressure on CBDT to go slow on ‘huge’ refunds of income-tax and about GOI demand for higher dividends and ‘surplus income transfers’ to government by PSUs and statutory organizations. During the current financial year, such persuasion has resulted in an all-time high transfer of ‘surplus income’ from RBI and declaration of special dividend by Coal India(these are only two examples, but together accounted for about two-thirds of Rs73,866 crore expected under Dividends & profits in B. E  2013-14.
The finance ministry’s financial jugglery to show better ‘results’ go much beyond the ‘beg, borrow or steal’ approach. The present arm-twisting tactics cannot even be considered as ‘book adjustments’ or ‘window-dressing’, practices bad in themselves and objected to when financial institutions engage in them.
One wonders, how the health of the Indian Economy will get a better health certificate by accepting advance payments and postponing payments which have become due(both in essence tantamount to unsecured borrowing, if viewed in a wider sense).
Finance Ministry has successfully withheld a pension revision in RBI for the last 15 years, arguing ‘cascading effect’ on banking industry, though RBI has a fully funded pension payment arrangement. Meanwhile, GOI has revised central government pension twice, though the payment is under Pay-As-You-Go system without any provision for funding. NPS, which in effect is ‘No Pension System’ has been introduced to deny pension benefits to new entrants from 2004. Mentioned this to highlight that GOI indulges not only in accounting jugglery, but policy jugglery having long term implications on the lives of workers also.

M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram



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