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Budget numbers game: How revised estimates allow govt to fix its deficits

Ignoring the Actuals of the last year and not examining their variance from the original BE and RE numbers can weaken the quality of Budget analysis

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Interim Budget 2019 | Expenditure Budget

A K Bhattacharya 

Union Budgets are largely judged by the numbers they project for the coming year and by the extent of slippage or improvement over the numbers they had projected earlier for the current year. Thus, the Union Budget to be presented next month would be analysed on the basis of the numbers it projects for 2019-20 and the revised numbers for 2018-19. The revised numbers or the Revised Estimates (RE) will capture the variance over what was projected last February as Budget Estimates or BE for 2018-19. Even though the exercise by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley next month will be to present an Interim Budget, the general commentary after its presentation would be focused mostly on the BE for 2019-20 and the RE for 2018-19.

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First Published: Tue, January 01 2019. 16:00 IST