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Historically, the Indian government has pursued a cautious policy with regard to financing budgets, allowing only small amounts of deficit spending. Budget deficits increased in the late 1980s, and the necessity of financing these deficits from foreign borrowing contributed to the 1990 balance of payments crisis. The central government budget deficit reached 8.4 percent of GDP in FY 1990, up from 2.6 percent in FY 1970, 5.9 percent in FY 1980, and 7.8 percent in FY 1989. The deficit was cut to 5.9 percent in FY 1991 and 5.2 percent in FY 1992, but widened to 7.4 percent in FY 1993. It was expected to recede to 6.2 percent in FY 1995.
The central government's budget deficits during the 1980s increased the total public debt rapidly until in FY 1991 it stood at Rs3.9 trillion. The bulk of this debt was owed to citizens and domestic institutions and firms, particularly the central bank. Readers of Indian monetary statistics should be alert to the use of the terms lakh, which are used to express higher numbers.
Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.
Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.
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