What are the Components of fiscal expansion?
- The non-discretionary automatic stabilizers: Automatic stabilizers are ongoing government policies that automatically adjust tax rates and transfer payments in a manner that is intended to stabilize incomes, consumption, and business spending over the business cycle.
- The discretionary fiscal impulse: Actions taken in response to changes in the economy. These acts do not follow a strict set of rules, rather, they use subjective judgment to treat each situation in unique manner. Examples may include passing a new spending bill that promotes a certain cause, such as green technology.
How was India’s fiscal policy response to revive economic contraction?
- Discretionary fiscal impulse in India has been only a modest 1.8% of GDP.
- Most of the fiscal expansion this year is likely to come from a decline in tax collections and other types of automatic stabilizers, rather than government action.
- In comparison, almost 60% of the fiscal expansion in emerging markets has come from discretionary policy
- India’s fiscal response has been more of “below the line” measures through credit guarantees, payroll support, equity infusion and special liquidity schemes.
- “Below the line” fiscal support amounts to 5.2% of GDP. In this, India resembles advanced economies rather than its emerging markets peers.
Why India has emphasised to spend low on discretionary spending?
- During the crisis India’s Fiscal strength was far less than other major economies.
- Fear of sovereign credit-rating downgrade, in case the fiscal situation deteriorates further.
- Prevalence of high inflation, which means that a demand stimulus during a severe supply shock would have added to price pressures.