# EFFECTIVENESS OF FISCAL MEASURES IN CORRECTING THE FISCAL IMBALANCES IN INDIA.

IntroductionFiscal reforms have been in the forefront of India's economic reforms program initiated in 1991. The fiscal situation prevailing at the end of the 1980s was marked by large and persistent deficits in the Government budgets. Therefore, there was a need for the strong corrective action before the onset of the balance of payments crisis. The country had to seek the assistance from the IMF and the World Bank to keep the economy going.

The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council chaired by the late Sukhamoy Chakravarty pointed in December 1989 to the uncertainties posed by the twin imbalances, one on the fiscal side and other in the external trade (Government of India, 1989), despite the notable acceleration in output growth during the decade. While the reform to correct the imbalances included measures in several directions, the focus was on fiscal reform recognized as the key to stabilization and growth on a sustainable basis. The deficits in the Government budget were seen as a prime source of imbalance on the external front too as they were thought to spill into the balance of payments and raise questions about the country's solvency at home and abroad (Bagchi, 1998).

The gross fiscal deficit (GFD) of the Centre witnessed a decline during the first half of the 1990s. Tax revenue as a proportion of GDP fell during this period as a result of restructuring of tax system with focus on simplification and rationalization of both direct and indirect taxes, drawing mainly from the recommendations of the Tax Reforms Committee in 1991. The fiscal correction strategy focused on the expenditure front, whereby corrective measures initiated at the beginning of the 1990s, mostly in the terms of curtailment of expenditure growth, yielded some promising results. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act in 2003-04 covered several years of technocratic and political efforts and gave a significant stimulus to the cause of fiscal consolidation. The second major policy initiative at the Central level was a concerted and sustained program to raise the tax-GDP ratio through better application of information technology and other means to strengthen tax administration (Chakravarty, 2004).

Review of literature

Mundle and Rao (1992) studied the nature of fiscal crisis in India in 1990 and related issues in the growth and composition of public expenditure, the tax system and the mobilization of tax and non-tax revenues. They showed that the fiscal imbalance was mainly a reflection of the increasing gap between revenue receipts and revenue expenditure. There was a spurt in spending mainly on account of interest payments, subsidies, plan and non-plan grants to State Governments, defense, failure of public sector undertakings, etc. On the other hand, the growth of tax and non-tax revenues was stagnated. Finally, they endorsed the fiscal stabilization measures initiated in 1991.

Bhattacharya and Sabyasachi (2004) examined the nature of relationship between aggregate economic growth and fiscal and external balances in the Indian economy. Acceleration in aggregate GDP growth can lead to worsening of fiscal deficit which is to be financed by other sources. Investment and productivity capital is further prerequisites for acceleration of GDP. This study examined the inter-linkages between the production sector, the fiscal and external sectors

Rangarajan (2004) emphasized on the occurred fiscal situation, fiscal deficit and its adverse impact on the economy. The Debt-GDP ratio was to be reduced and the tax-GDP ratio had to be picked up considerably by introducing VAT. Raising revenues for the accelerated flow of development expenditures were considered as the important to the socio-economic growth.

Singh (2013) examined that the fiscal Policy assumes a central place in the overall macroeconomic framework. As government sector and private sector compete for resources and for consumption in the economy, fiscal policy needs to be designed in a framework where an increase in government activity would result in net gains to the economy, even when it may negatively impact in private sector activity, or reduce foreign exchange reserves or increase the monetary base.

Sources of data and methodology used

The study is entirely based on secondary data. Relevant data were collected from Economic Survey, Government of India, Economic and Political Weekly, Report of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Handbook of statistics on Indian economy and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Bulletins, Government of India.

In this study the ANOVA has been used to check the hypothesis whether there is any significant difference in the value of variables between three periods (prior reform period, first generation reform period, and second generation reform period) at 5 percent level of significance. In addition, averages, standard deviation, coefficient of variation and compound annual growth rate (CAGR) have also been used to analyze different variables to get meaningful results.

Performance evaluation of fiscal reforms

Corrective measures on the fiscal front initiated at the beginning of the 1990s produced some promising results during the first half of the decade. During the period from 1990-91 to 1996-97 (excluding 1993-94), the reduction in total expenditure to GDP ratio by more than 3.5 percentage points narrowed the fiscal gap by 3 percentage points and reduced the debt-GDP ratio by over 5 percentage points. However, the fiscal consolidation, even during the first half of the 1990s, was achieved primarily through reduction in capital expenditure. Decline in consumption expenditure was relatively small. Since the 1997-98 expenditure started rising once again and by the year 2001-02 all the major fiscal parameters (revenue deficit, fiscal deficit, and public debt) rose to levels higher than those prevalent at the beginning of the reform process. And some improvement again started being witnessed since the 2002-03 which was conditioned by the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act in 2003.

The strategy for restoring fiscal balance comprised tax and non-tax reforms, expenditure management and institutional reforms. Restructuring public sector mainly involved the divestment of Government ownership which was initiated in 1991-92. Fiscal-monetary coordination was sought to be improved through deregulation of financial system, elimination of automatic monetization to reduce the size of monetized deficit, and reduction in pre-emption of institutional resources by the Government (Pattnaik, Raj, and Chander, 2006).

In order to evaluate the performance of the fiscal reforms in India initiated during 1991 and onwards, following parameters have been selected:

- Tax-GDP ratio

- Expenditure-GDP ratio

- Debt-GDP ratio

- Deficit indicators

- Balance of payments

- Inflation

- Real GDP growth

On the basis of these parameters we can assess the effectiveness of fiscal measures in correcting the fiscal imbalances of our country.

For dealing with these issues the study covers the three sub-periods:

- First phase (P1) - 1980-81 to 1990-91 (Prior reform period)

- Second phase (P2) - 1991-92 to 2001-02 (First generation reform period)

- Third phase (P3) - 2002-03 to 2012-13 (Second generation reform period)

Result analysis and discussion

Tax-GDP ratio

The analysis of direct tax as a percentage of GDP shows that there is significant difference in direct tax over the three periods. It is assumed that, in alternative hypothesis, there is significant difference in direct tax as a percentage of GDP over the three periods. Since P value (5.75E-13) is less than a (0.05), therefore, alternative hypothesis is accepted (Table 1a). It is found that during 2002-03 to 2012-13 (P3) direct tax is 5.10 percent which is higher than that of period P2 (1991-92 to 2001-02), and P1 (1980-81 to 1990-91), i.e. 2.77 percent and 1.97 percent respectively. It means that direct tax as percentage of GDP after reform was higher in comparison to P1 and P2.This shows that there has been a continuous increase in direct tax as a percentage of GDP. The direct tax to GDP ratio has seen an uptrend because of the reforms in income and corporate taxes that simplified the tax system, reduced exemptions and tax rates, thus providing an incentive for better compliance.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the direct tax as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the direct tax as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

Null Hypothesis is accepted.

Table 1(b) shows that there is no significant difference between indirect tax as percentage of GDP over the three periods. The calculated result reveals that P value (1.31) is more than a (0.05), therefore null hypothesis is accepted. So far as period of reforms is concerned, it is found that during 2002-03 to 2012-13 (P3) indirect taxes as percentage of GDP is 5.054 percent which is less than that of period P2 (6.35 percent) and P2 is less than that of P1 (7.88909 percent). It means that indirect tax as percentage of GDP before reform was higher in comparison to 1st and 2nd reform periods. But there is a significant difference between total taxes as percentage of GDP over the three periods (Table 1(c)). Since p value (0.006334) is less than a (0.05), therefore, alternative hypothesis is accepted. Total taxes as percentage of GDP before reform was 9.86364 percent (P1) which is slightly higher than 9.12 (P2) but P2 is less than that of P3 (10.16 percent), indicating slow rate of change over the given periods.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the indirect tax as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the indirect tax as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

Null Hypothesis is accepted.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the total taxes as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is significant difference in the total taxes as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

Expenditure-GDP ratio

The analysis of expenditure as a percentage of GDP shows that there is significant difference in expenditure-GDP ratio over the three periods. Since p value (0.000315) is less than a (0.05), therefore, alternative hypothesis is accepted (Table 2). It is found that during 2002-03 to 2012-13 (P3) the expenditure-GDP ratio is 15.3 percent which is less than that of period P2 (15.75 percent) and P2 is less than that of P1 (17.62 percent). It means that the expenditure-GDP ratio before reform was higher in comparison to the 1st and 2ndreform periods.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the expenditure-GDP ratio over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the expenditure-GDP ratio over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

Debt-GDP ratio

For evaluating debt-GDP ratio it is assumed that there is no significant difference in the debt as percentage of GDP before and after reforms (null hypothesis); and in alternative hypothesis there is significant difference between debt as percentage of GDP before and after reforms. It is found that P value (0.00516) is less than a (0.05), therefore alternative hypothesis is accepted (Table 3). There has been continuous increase in the debt-GDP ratio over all the three periods. It has increased from 51.86 percent during P1 to 59.24 percent during P2, and further it slightly has increased during P3 (59.56 percent).

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the debt as percentage of GDP over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the debt as a percentage of GDP over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

Deficit indicators

First of all we analyze the gross fiscal deficit. The analysis of gross fiscal deficit shows that there is a significant difference in gross fiscal deficit over the three periods. Since p value (0.000163) is less than a (0.05), therefore, alternative hypothesis is accepted (Table 4(a)). It is found that during 2000-01 to 20012-13 (P3) the gross fiscal deficit is 4.7 percent which is less than that of period P2 (5.7 percent) and P2 is less than that of P1 (6.83 percent). It means that gross fiscal deficit before reform was higher in comparison to 1st and 2nd reform periods, and has been continuously declining. Similarly, there is significant difference in the revenue deficit over the three periods. The calculated result reveals that P value (0.001822) is less than a (0.05), therefore alternative hypothesis is accepted. During pre-reform period, P1 was 1.8 percent, while it was 3.21 percent during P2 and 3.36 percent during P3. Hence, it has been continuously increasing over the period of time (Table 4(b)).There is also a significant difference in the primary deficit over the three periods (Table 4(c)). Since p value (0.00011) is less than a (0.05), therefore, alternative hypothesis is accepted. Primary deficit before reform was 3.13909 percent (P1) which is higher than 0.66222 (P2) and 0.3875 (P3). Hence, there has been continuous decline in the primary deficit over the given periods.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the gross fiscal deficit over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the gross fiscal deficit over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the revenue deficit over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the revenue deficit over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the primary deficit over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the primary deficit over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

Balance of payments indicators

Usually, the current account balance is the most widely monitored indicator of a nation's external balance position. For examining current account balance it is assumed that, in null hypothesis, there is no significant difference in the current account balance over the three periods P1, P2, and P3. And in alternative hypothesis there is significant difference in the current account balance over the three periods. Since p value (0.171165) is greater than a (0.05), the null hypothesis is not rejected (Table 5).

It is found that during 1991-92 to 2002-03 (P2) and 2002-03 to 20012-13 (P3) the current account balance was -0.87 and -1.57 respectively which is lower than during the period 1980-81 to 1990-91 (P1). It means that the current account deficit before reform was higher in comparison to 1st and 2nd generation reform periods. This implies that the fiscal reforms helped in correcting the deficit in the BOPs. The BOPs condition was improved over the given periods.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the current account balance over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the current account balance over the three periods.

Null Hypothesis is not rejected.

Inflation

The analysis shows that there has been continuous decline in the rate of inflation over the given periods. It has declined from 8.2 percent during P1 to 7.4 percent during P2 and further to 6.19 percent during P3. Thus, fiscal reforms helped the country in reducing the rate of inflation. However, the average, SD, CV, and CAGR of inflation during 1980-81 to 2012-13 are 7.27, 3.17, 43.6 and -2.6 percent respectively (Table 6).

Real GDP growth

The analysis of real GDP shows that there is significant difference between real GDP over the three periods. Since p value (0.04) is less than a (0.05), therefore alternative hypothesis is accepted. It is found that during P3 the real GDP growth is 7.56 percent which is higher than that of P2 (5.61 percent) and P2 is slightly higher than P1 (5.6 percent) implying continuous increase in real GDP growth over the given periods. Thus, the study shows that there was effective and impressive influence of fiscal reforms on real GDP growth in India.

H0: Null Hypothesis; there is no significant difference in the real GDP over the three periods.

H1: Alternative Hypothesis; there is a significant difference in the real GDP over the three periods.

Alternative Hypothesis is accepted.

Limitations of the study

This study is strictly limited to the secondary data available and concentrates mainly on the Government and official data. The study is limited to the period of thirty three years from 1980-81 to 2012-13. However, for the purpose of analyzing the performance of fiscal measures, the entire period of the study has been divided into three discussed sub-periods. In addition, in this study fiscal reforms and problems of the Central Government have only been discussed and analyzed. The study does not cover the fiscal reforms and scenario of the Indian States.

Conclusion

For evaluation of fiscal reforms the parameters such as tax-GDP ratio, expenditure-GDP, debt-GDP ratio, deficit indicators, BOPs indicators, inflation, and real GDP growth have been observed. The study has considered the three sub-periods: 1980-81 to 1990-91 (P1 - Prior reform period), 1991-92 to 2001-02 (P2 -First generation reform period), and 2002-03 to 2012-13 (P3 -Second generation reform period). The study shows that direct tax-GDP ratio reveals continuous increase over the given periods while indirect taxes as percentage of GDP before reforms were higher in comparison to 1st and 2nd reform periods. Total tax-GDP ratio displays the slow rate of change over the given periods. The expenditure-GDP ratio reflects the continuous decline over the given periods. Fiscal deficit shows continuous decline over the given periods but the revenue deficit shows the rising trend over the given periods, which is not desirable for the country. However, the primary deficit reflects decline from P1 to P2, further to P3. The analysis shows that there has been continuous decline in the current account deficits. This reflects marked improvement in the BOPs conditions of the country. There has been continuous decline in the inflation rate over the given periods. The study shows that there has been effective and impressive influence of fiscal reforms on the real GDP growth in India. Finally, fiscal measures have been successful in correcting the problem of fiscal imbalances and accelerating the growth performance of the country.

References

Bagchi, A. (1998). India's fiscal reform: Some signposts. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, 28(1), 9-22.

Battacharya, B.B & Sabysachi Kar (2004). Nexus between growth and fiscal and external balances: A macro-econometric evaluation of post-reform India. In M.Nachane, Romar Corea, G.Anantha Padmanabhan & K.R.Shanmugam (ed.), Econometric models: Theory and applications, Allied Publishers Pvt.Ltd, New Delhi.

Chakravarty, Shomit (2004). Reform of tax administration in India - A quiet revolution, ADB India Economic Bulletin, October, New Delhi.

Government of India (1989). Report on the current economic situation and priority areas for action. Ministry of Finance, New Delhi.

Mundle, S. & Rao, M.G. (1992). Issues in fiscal policy. NIFP (mimeo), New Delhi.

Pattnaik, R.K., Raj, D.S & Chander, Jai (2006). Fiscal policy indicators in a rule-based framework: An Indian Experience. RBI Staff Studies.

Rangarajan, C (2004). Some aspects of fiscal federalism. In M.Nachane, Romar Corea, G.Anantha Padmanabhan & K.R.Shanmugam (ed.), Econometric models: Theory and applications, Allied Publishers Pvt.Ltd, New Delhi.

Singh, N.T. (2013). Fiscal reforms in India. IOSR Journal of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 7(2), 52-53.

SANA NASEEM

Faculty in College of Business Administration, Al Yamamah University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

corresponding email: s_naseem[at]yu(dot)edu(dot)sa

postal address: P.O. Box 45180 - Riyadh 11512, Saudi Arabia.

TABLE 1(a). DIRECT TAX-GDP RATIO ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 21.7 1.972727 P2 11 30.5 2.772727 P3 11 56.11 5.100909 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS Between groups 58.10182 2 29.05091 Within groups 10.47533 30 0.349178 Total 68.57715 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 0.006342 P2 0.098182 P3 0.943009 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 83.1981 5.75E-13 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 1(b). INDIRECT TAX-GDP RATIO ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 86.78 7.889091 P2 11 69.9 6.354545 P3 11 55.6 5.054545 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS Between groups 44.29142 2 22.14571 Within groups 15.22744 30 0.507581 Total 59.51885 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 0.381289 P2 0.690727 P3 0.450727 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 43.62988 1.31 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 1(c). TAX-GDP RATIO ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average Variance P1 11 108.5 9.863636 0.370005 P2 11 100.4 9.127273 0.406182 P3 11 111.8 10.16364 0.782545 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS F Between groups 6.256364 2 3.128182 6.020625 Within groups 15.58733 30 0.519578 Total 21.84369 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups P1 P2 P3 ANOVA Source of variation P-value F crit Between groups 0.006334 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 2. EXPENDITURE-GDP RATIO ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 193.82 17.62 P2 11 173.3 15.75455 P3 11 168.4 15.30909 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS Between groups 33.06839 2 16.53419 Within groups 46.46536 30 1.548845 Total 79.53375 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 2.9169 P2 0.530727 P3 1.198909 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 10.67517 0.000315 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 3. DEBT-GDP RATIO ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 570.55 51.86818 P2 11 651.65 59.24091 P3 11 655.23 59.56636 ANOVA Source of variation SS Df MS Between groups 416.9918 2 208.4959 Within groups 991.2759 30 33.04253 Total 1408.268 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 57.75378 P2 10.79441 P3 30.57941 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 6.309925 0.00516 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 4(a). GROSS FISCAL DEFICIT ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 75.18 6.834545 P2 11 62.91 5.719091 P3 11 52.56 4.778182 ANOVA Source of variation SS Df MS Between groups 23.31333 2 11.65666 Within groups 29.55433 30 0.985144 Total 52.86765 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 1.190907 P2 0.386369 P3 1.378156 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 11.83244 0.000163 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 4(b). REVENUE DEFICIT ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 20.43 1.857273 P2 11 35.41 3.219091 P3 11 36.99 3.362727 ANOVA Source of variation SS Df MS Between groups 15.18577 2 7.592885 Within groups 29.04913 30 0.968304 Total 44.2349 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 0.839002 P2 0.523929 P3 1.541982 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 7.841425 0.001822 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 4(c). PRIMARY DEFICIT ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 34.53 3.139091 P2 11 8.26 0.750909 P3 11 12.41 1.128182 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS Between groups 36.26151 2 18.13075 Within groups 60.11375 30 2.003792 Total 96.37525 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 3.759009 P2 0.357549 P3 1.894816 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 9.048224 0.000842 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 5. CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 -21.5 -1.95455 P2 11 -9.6 -0.87273 P3 11 -17.3 -1.57273 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS Between groups 6.622424 2 3.311212 Within groups 53.03091 30 1.767697 Total 59.65333 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 0.314727 P2 0.490182 P3 4.498182 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 1.873179 0.171165 3.31583 Within groups Total TABLE 6. RATE OF INFLATION (percent) Year Inflation Year Inflation 1980-81 18.2 1996-97 4.6 1981-82 9.3 1997-98 4.4 1982-83 4.9 1998-99 5.9 1983-84 7.5 1999-00 3.3 1984-85 6.5 2000-01 7.0 1985-86 4.4 2001-02 3.9 1986-87 5.8 2002-03 3.46 1987-88 8.1 2003-04 5.5 1988-89 7.5 2004-05 6.5 1989-90 7.5 2005-06 4.4 1990-91 10.5 2006-07 5.7 1991-92 13.8 2007-08 4.8 1992-93 10.1 2008-09 8 1993-94 8.4 2009-10 3.6 1994-95 12.5 2010-11 9.6 1995-96 8.1 2011-12 8.8 1996-97 4.6 2012-13 7.5 Average 7.27 S.D 3.14 C.V 43.6 CAGR -2.6 Source: RBI and Ministry of Finance. TABLE 7. REAL GDP GROWTH ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Count Sum Average P1 11 61.6 5.6 P2 11 61.8 5.618182 P3 11 83.2 7.563636 ANOVA Source of variation SS df MS Between groups 28.01697 2 14.00848 Within groups 119.0618 30 3.968727 Total 147.0788 32 ANOVA: Single factor SUMMARY Groups Variance P1 4.87 P2 3.199636 P3 3.836545 ANOVA Source of variation F P-value F crit Between groups 3.529717 0.042008 3.31583 Within groups Total

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Title Annotation: | FISCAL POLICY |
---|---|

Author: | Naseem, Sana |

Publication: | Perspectives of Innovations, Economics and Business |

Geographic Code: | 9INDI |

Date: | Sep 1, 2016 |

Words: | 4267 |

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