The A-word made its debut on the Indian political stage.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament that austerity is needed. His statement comes at a time when voters in countries such as France and Greece have revolted against the spending cuts in Europe.
As is the norm these days, the minister quickly covered his tracks, telling reporters later that his comments about planned austerity measures were a general statement and that the details of such measures were yet to be worked out.
The politics of austerity can be a minefield in India. Governments have had more success cutting the fiscal deficit through strong tax collections during economic booms rather than with cuts in spending during downturns. And no prizes for guessing where India is right now.
But Mukherjee has done well to put the austerity option on the table. First step: attack fuel subsidies.