India has high debt like China, but risks are moderated: IMF

Washington: India has a high debt like that of China but the risks associated with it are not as great as that of its northern neighbour, a senior official from the International Monetary Fund has said, advising India in the medium term to have an ambitious fiscal consolidation plan that brings down deficits.

“The current debt in India is also high. It stands at 81.9 per cent of GDP. Compared to China, which is 83 per cent, it is very similar. Also, when we compare India’s debt to the pre-pandemic level in 2019, it was 75 per cent. So it is still quite a bit higher,” Ruud de Mooij, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department at International Monetary Fund, told PTI in an interview.

“What we also see in India is a deficit that is 8.8 per cent projected for 2023. In India, a large portion of this is because of expenditures on interest. They pay a lot of interest on their debt: 5.4 per cent of GDP is spent on that, and the primary deficit is 3.4 per cent. So together they add up to 8.8 per cent,” he said.

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