In the fiscal year ending in March 2024, the Indian government will borrow a record 16 trillion rupees ($198 billion), according to a survey of experts, who believe that infrastructure expenditure and fiscal responsibility should be its top budget goals.

The gross national debt of the United States has more than quadrupled over the last four years as a result of the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi spending significantly to aid the underprivileged and protect the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts.

Before the national elections in 2024 and the elections in many popular states that will serve as important litmus tests for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Feb. 1 budget will be the final full-fledged one (BJP).

However, the government won’t be able to reduce borrowing anytime soon due to a decline in tax income and the anticipated weakening of the economy in the upcoming fiscal year.

According to the median prediction of 43 experts, gross borrowing is anticipated to reach 16.0 trillion rupees in the next fiscal year, up from a projected 14.2 trillion rupees in 2022/23.

In a limited range of 14.8 trillion to 17.2 trillion rupees, predictions were made. Even if it is at the low end of the range, the gross borrowing in 2023–2024 would be by far the biggest ever. The nation’s gross yearly borrowing was only 5.92 trillion rupees when Modi’s BJP won the election in 2014.

The repayment load, according to ANZ economist Dhiraj Nim, is the main factor keeping gross borrowing at a high level. “The government took out a lot of debt in the recent years to have money for the epidemic, so the payback load is now fairly high for several years.”