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Govt debt stands at ₹155.6 Lakh Crore in March 2023

In March 2023, the Indian government’s debt stood at ₹155.6 lakh crore, accounting for 57.1% of the country’s GDP. This represents a reduction from 61.5% of GDP in 2020-21, indicating efforts to manage debt levels. The government has also implemented various schemes to promote capital expenditure, economic growth, and welfare at both macro and micro levels. Additionally, a roadmap has been set in place to achieve the ambitious goal of making India a $5 trillion economy, involving digital economy promotion, technology-enabled development, energy transition, and more.

I. Government Debt and Fiscal Management:

  • As of March 31, 2023, the central government’s debt amounted to ₹155.6 lakh crore, which represents 57.1% of the GDP.
  • This debt-to-GDP ratio has reduced from 61.5% in 2020-21, indicating efforts to manage fiscal deficits and control debt accumulation.
  • The debt of state governments is estimated to be around 28% of GDP at the end of the fiscal year 2022-23.

II. Capital Expenditure and Investment:

  • Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) in the Indian economy has increased from ₹45.41 lakh crore in 2018-19 to ₹54.35 lakh crore in 2022-23 (Provisional Estimates).
  • The government has implemented the ‘Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure’ and ‘Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment’ to support capital projects in sectors like health, education, irrigation, and power.
  • In the fiscal year 2023-24, ₹84,883.90 crore has been sanctioned under the special assistance schemes, with ₹29,517.66 crore disbursed to various states for capital expenditure and investment.

III. Roadmap for India’s $5 Trillion Economy:

  • The government’s roadmap for achieving a $5 trillion economy focuses on growth at the macro level and inclusive welfare at the micro level.
  • Initiatives include promoting the digital economy, fintech, technology-enabled development, energy transition, climate action, and encouraging a virtuous cycle of investment and growth.
  • Major reforms have been implemented since 2014, including GST, IBC, corporate tax rate reduction, Make in India, Start-up India, and Production Linked Incentive Schemes.

IV. Capital Expenditure and Economic Growth:

  • The central government’s capital expenditure has increased from 2.15% of GDP in 2020-21 to 2.7% of GDP in 2022-23, reflecting a commitment to infrastructure development and investment.
  • The Union Budget 2023-24 has further increased the capital investment outlay by 33% to ₹10 lakh crore (3.3% of GDP) for the third consecutive year.
  • This substantial push in capital investment is aimed at fostering economic growth and attracting private investment.

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