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Debt burden of ₹ 1.97 lakh crore not a ‘Cause of Concern’: Nirmala Sitharaman

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Even though the Government of India is under a debt burden of ₹ 1,97,45,670 crore which is 60.5 per cent of the GDP as per the provisional figures available for the year 2020-21, the Centre, for some reasons, doesn’t find it as “a great cause of concern” as ruling BJP counts on its various debt consolidation measures.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while giving an response to a question raised in Parliament during Question Hour, seeking to know the debt burden on the country and whether it was a matter of concern for the Government, said, “towards overcoming the debt burden, Government’s focus is to reduce fiscal deficit from 6.8 per cent of GDP in 2021-22 to below 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26. Debt consolidation through increasing buoyancy of tax revenues through improved compliance, increased receipts from monetisation of assets including Public Sector Enterprises and land are the additional steps involved to overcome the debt burden.”

She added that these measures coupled with adequate limits on the borrowings of state governments, “the present debt is not a great cause of concern”.

Upon being asked whether the Government has assessed its repayment capacity of the public debt, the Finance Minister said that “the strategy of reducing debt involving reduction of fiscal deficit, increasing buoyancy of taxes through improved compliance and increased receipts from monetisation of assets, including public sector enterprises and land, ensures the repayment capacity of the Government”.

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