The FM’s excuses

The FM’s excuses

The global financial crisis has plus points, too. In India, for example, it has provided the government with an excuse for not meeting fiscal and revenue deficit targets specified in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.

Perhaps “excuse" is too strong a word. But what else can be said about the spectacle of Union finance minister P. Chidambaram’s assertion of this fact on Wednesday? This, nearly eight months after his Budget speech, where he pleaded inability to meet some of these targets.

As reported in Mint on Tuesday, the government has asked Parliament to approve an additional cash expenditure of Rs1.05 trillion for the current fiscal year. Global financial woes have hardly anything to do with heavy government spending.

Then there are “category" confusions: After all, the crisis has everything to do with liquidity problems faced by banks and very little to do with handing out sops to government employees and waiving farm loans.

Ensuring economic stability ought to be the FM’s first priority, not handing out excuses for fiscal profligacy.