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Modi engineers deep fiscal fix

By Bloomberg | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-03 06:54

With the strongest election mandate in 30 years and oil prices sliding, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a chance to quickly get the country's finances under control in his first full-year budget.

On Saturday, several weeks after his party got crushed in a local Delhi election, Modi chose a more incremental route with a wider deficit projection to boost growth in Asia's third-biggest economy. He is spending more on infrastructure to spur an investment cycle, buying time for longer-term moves on taxes and subsidies to make the country more competitive.

India's financial health now hinges on Modi's ability to kickstart projects, better target subsidies, increase asset sales and pass stalled legislation - objectives that in the past have fallen short of plans. Since taking office he has failed to win parliamentary approval for a bill to increase foreign investment in insurance, raising doubts about how much he can accomplish.

Modi engineers deep fiscal fix

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