India should incentivize state-level fiscal responsibility4 min read 06 Nov 2022, 10:09 PM IST
There should be a stronger link between the economic performance of a state and its fiscal space
To ensure fiscal discipline, the government at all levels must be made to face financial consequences of their decisions." That is a quote from Anwar Shah’s paper, ‘Balance, Accountability, and Responsiveness: Lessons about Decentralization’. Dispensations in some states may not have read it. Following the footsteps of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the Punjab government too has given in-principle approval to restore the old pension scheme for its employees. Far from providing a compelling indictment of the new pension scheme, the move backtracks on one of the crucial reforms that helped state governments dodge a ‘fiscal bullet’. But how is it possible for states with two of India’s highest debt-to-GDP levels to take such fiscally profligate actions?