, 15 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
#Missing1Point7Trillion #India #Budget2019, #EconomicSurvey2019
Keen followers of India #Budget #Shenanigans would have followed, or tried to follow the complex arguments made by 3 non-Govt commentators in this @NDTV programme: 1/n
Jayati Ghosh, Pronab Sen and Nitin Sethi pointed out that figures that appeared in @SubramanianKri's Economic Survey did not read across into @nsitharaman's glossy #Budget2019 presentation. They based their arguments on reading the small print in both these weighty documents. 2/n
@kaul_vivek, that great explainer of complicated financial smoke-and-mirrors made the same point about a missing 1.7 lakh crores (LC for short, 1 LC = 1 trillion) from the 2018-19 budgeted revenue and expenditure. See his excellent write up here: livemint.com/news/india/how… 3/n
But there is a far easier-to-access, simpler-to-read and not-so-difficult to understand source of the official figures. And that is #India's Reserve Bank of India, @RBI's excellent website provides enough data to drown quite a few knaves in. 4/n
Among this wealth of data is a monthly publication called RBI Bulletin. Click on Publications | Monthly | RBI Bulletin and you get to this page: (See pic) This is the July Bulletin (I accessed it on 11 July 2019). Now scroll down to No. 23 Government Accounts & Voila! Bingo!!
This is the July Account. See picture. It's noisy but focus on the 1st column of figures headed FY 2019-20 Budget Estimates. These come straight from @nsitharaman's budget. I'll summarise the key highlights for you. If you are keen, download, print and study it. 6/n
#GoI plans to raise 17.1 LC in tax+ 2.7 non tax revenue + 1 LC in capital receipts = Total 20.8 LC . It plans to spend 27.8 LC (of which 6.65 goes in interest payments on accumulated debt) The gap 7 LC is the FISCAL DEFICIT to be plugged by new Govt borrowing. 7/n
If I haven't lost you yet, hold those numbers while we go back to the RBI website and download the RBI bulletin for June 2019. If you have stuck with me this far, you should see this page:
It looks similar to the July Accounts but it gives some really interesting figures. 8/n
Let me summarise this June Accounts for you. The 2019-20 Budget estimates are the same as before. Ignore the next 2 columns - it's figures for just the 1 month of April 2019. The data for 2018-19 tells us a lot. I've rearranged the data to highlight the gap. 9/n
Now here's the thing. Given that there was this shortfall in anticipated revenue and expenditure in 2018-19 the budget for 2019-20 should have been upfront about what was possible in the light of that experience. Remember I said 'hold those #Budget2019 figures 2 tweets ago? 10/n
The table compares the actual out-turn for 2018-19 with the Budget estimates for 2019-20. Hard reality butts up against rosy hope. These are optimistic projections indeed. Growth in tax take of 25% when in prev fiscal there was a 11.3% shortfall against est tax revenue!! 11/n
As Jayati Ghosh pointed out these heroic projections of tax revenue growth have to be seen against the projected GDP growth of 7%. It is tempting to make optimistic projections but there is a temptation then to present them as reality. 12/n
Final point. The 2019-20 Budget estimates in the July Bulletin is absolutely IDENTICAL to the figures in the June Bulletin. Given that @nsitharaman presented #Budget2019 on 5 July, where did RBI get the figures to put in the June Bulletin? I'll give you my answer tomorrow.
PostScript. @rbi got the figures for its June Bulletin from the earlier interim budget presented to Parliament in February. The numbers are identical to what was presented later on in the July budget because they were not further revised in the light of the 2018-19 out-turn.
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