India urgently needs more ambitious structural and financial sector reform measures and a medium-term fiscal consolidation strategy due to the rising debt levels while ensuring a more accommodative fiscal stance in the budget, the IMF has said.
Responding to a question on the budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson Gerry Rice said the economic environment in India is weaker than what the organisation had forecast earlier. "While the budget touches on ongoing sectoral efforts, there remains an urgent need for more ambitious structural and financial sector reform measures and a medium-term fiscal consolidation strategy, anchored in tangible revenue and expenditure measures, especially given rising debt levels," Rice told reporters.
"The environment is weaker than what we had forecast earlier, that a more accommodative fiscal stance, this year, is appropriate, so that more accommodative fiscal stance in the budget, we think, is appropriate, he said. "But, over the medium term, to be looking at a fiscal consolidation strategy, Rice said. The IMF in January lowered India's economic growth estimate for the current fiscal to 4.8 per cent.