India’s Fiscal Policy Space for Investing in Children
This paper discusses several aspects of the fiscal policy space in India for public investments in children. With regard to the magnitude of the overall public spending in India, the paper highlights the pursuance of a ‘conservative’ fiscal policy by the Central Government over the last decade. The paper examines the priorities of different sectors within the prevailing quantum of public expenditure in the country and highlights the low priorities within the government budgets for expenditure on social sectors, in general, and for expenditure on child-specific services, in particular. The paper also deals with the issue of growing centralization of the overall fiscal policy space available in India for making public investments in children. Finally, the paper examines some of the pertinent issues in the domain of mobilization of public resources by the government; it highlights the issue of the low tax-GDP ratio in India and explores the scope for significantly stepping up the magnitude of tax revenue mobilized in the country.