Moody’s expresses doubts on higher revenue targets from tax, divestment

Moody’s Investors Service, whereas silent on the sovereign ranking on the higher-than-expected fiscal deficit numbers, expressed doubts over attaining the higher revenue targets and divestment realisation as assumed within the Budget.

The Union Budget 2021-22 has pegged a fiscal deficit of 9.5 per cent for the present monetary yr as in opposition to the consensus 7 per cent, and 6.8 per cent for 2021-22 with a market borrowing of round Rs 12 lakh crore.

It additionally assumes Rs 1.75 lakh crore to be scooped up from divestment.


The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act can even be amended to realize a fiscal deficit of 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26 solely.

“The fiscal deficit target of 6.8 per cent for 2021-22 tries to strike a balance between supporting growth and a modest deficit reduction, but improvements in tax compliance and monetisation targets may be difficult to achieve,” the ranking company mentioned in a observe.

The observe was authored by Moody’s Associate Managing Director (Sovereign Risk) Gene Fang and its Vice-President and Senior Credit Officer (Financial Institutions) Alka Anbarasu.

However, the observe mentioned the federal government has restricted room to scale back spending with out additional weakening progress, and nominal GDP progress will stay essential for future deficit discount.

Overall, the Budget highlights the challenges to stabilising the debt trajectory following the pandemic-induced shocks.

Although a decline in new pandemic instances and normalising exercise are driving the rebound, the lasting results of the pandemic on the financial system will proceed to pose draw back dangers to sustained progress within the medium-term, they mentioned.

This threat is embodied within the adverse outlook on the ranking of Baa3 with a steady outlook, it mentioned including that earlier than the pandemic, the overall authorities debt was already considerably higher than the typical for sovereigns rated within the Baa3 friends.

On the plans to privatise two state-owned banks and a basic insurance coverage firm and likewise to take LIC public with an IPO, the observe mentioned divesting authorities stakes in banks is credit-negative for the banks concerned, as it can scale back the continued authorities assist for them.

Nevertheless, privatisation could make these banks extra market-oriented, which shall be optimistic for the trade as an entire, it added.

Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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