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India’s Budget to Test Modi’s Fiscal Resolve Ahead of 2024 Vote

  • Modi’s been chipping away at subsidies, except during pandemic
  • Fiscal pressures could arise from elections: Fitch Ratings
Narendra Modi
Narendra ModiPhotographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg

India will unveil its budget Wednesday, testing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fiscal mettle seen as key to boosting investor sentiment even as it will likely leave less room for handouts a year before he seeks a third term.

Modi, who rides an enduring wave of popularity as his second term is coming to a close, looks poised to sustain fiscal consolidation as he takes the global stage with India’s presidency of the Group of 20 nations. Shrinking the deficit which hit a record 9.2% of gross domestic product during the first year of the pandemic is necessary for Asia’s third-largest economy to improve its credit rating currently at the lowest investment grade.