Ahead of the Union budget, a look at the countries India can compare itself with in fiscal matters
On the eve of the Union Budget, let’s take a look at the countries India can compare itself to in fiscal matters. Let’s consider government revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) as a yardstick. According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), government revenues in India (including those of the states) are around 20% of gross domestic product. That puts us in the same league as Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal and Rwanda. That is hardly comforting. All these countries’ income per head is substantially lower than India’s. Indeed, Mali, Nepal and Rwanda have per capita incomes less than half of India’s. The question for the finance minister is: Do we really want to belong to this group?
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