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January 8 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The recent annual consultation report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) brings forth a nuanced perspective on India’s economic growth. While recognizing India’s effective inflation management, the report raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of the nation’s debts. It underscores the importance of adopting a prudent approach for managing debts in the long run.

Key Observations of the IMF Report:

Debt Sustainability Concerns:

  • India’s government debt might surge to 100% of GDP by 2028 under adverse conditions.
  • Long-term risks are elevated due to the substantial investments required to achieve India’s climate change mitigation targets.

Exchange Rate Regime Reclassification:

  • The IMF reclassifies India’s exchange rate regime as a “stabilized arrangement” instead of “floating.”
  • In a stabilized arrangement, the government fixes the exchange rate, signifying a shift in how India manages its currency.

Public Debt:

  • Definition: Public debt encompasses the total amount a government owes to external creditors and domestic lenders.
  • Types: External debt involves foreign creditors, while internal debt is owed to domestic lenders.


  • Financing Government Expenditure
  • Stabilizing the Economy
  • Managing Liquidity
  • Funding Development Plans

Concerns for Public Debt Management in India:

Burgeoning Debt Levels:

  • Union government’s debt was ₹155.6 trillion, or 57.1% of GDP, by March 2023.
  • Public debt-to-GDP ratio slightly increased from 81% in 2005-06 to 84% in 2021-22.

High-Interest Payments:

  • Interest payments exceed 5% of GDP and 25% of revenue receipts, impacting essential sectors like education and healthcare.

Limitations on Fiscal Policy:

  • High public debt may constrain the government’s ability to enact fiscal measures during economic downturns.

Lower Credit Ratings:

  • Persistent high deficits can lead to lower sovereign ratings, increasing the cost of external borrowing.

Misuse of Public Money:

  • Corruption and bureaucratic hurdles may lead to the misallocation of funds.

Crowding Out Private Investment:

  • Large government borrowings may impede private investment, affecting economic competitiveness.

Financial System Risks:

  • Concentrated debt in the financial system poses systemic risks, affecting stability.

Way Forward:

Prudential Stance:

  • Achieve fiscal consolidation with a targeted debt-to-GDP ratio.
  • Encourage fiscal discipline at the state level.

Raise Additional Revenue:

  • Enhance tax collection and compliance.
  • Streamline administration for new taxes.
  • Optimize disinvestment and asset management.

Re-orient Spending:

  • Prioritize investments in infrastructure, human capital, and green initiatives.
  • Consider privatization of loss-making PSUs and PPP models in social schemes.

Introduce Green Debt Swaps:

  • Explore environmentally friendly debt restructuring to address climate change.

Utilize Institutional Mechanisms:

  • Leverage the Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
  • Establish a Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) for specialized handling.


India should aspire to foster a financial environment characterized by prudence, transparency, and sustainable fiscal practices.

Proactive measures, spanning fiscal reforms, revenue enhancement, strategic spending, and innovative financial instruments, are crucial for navigating the challenges posed by public debt.

As India charts its economic trajectory, a holistic approach, grounded in fiscal responsibility, will pave the way for a resilient and sustainable economic future.

Mains Question:

  1. Examine the challenges presented by India’s debt burden and suggest strategies for sustainable debt management, taking into account the nuanced observations from the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report. (150 WORDS)


January 8
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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