This paper presents a brief overview of the extant fiscal situation in South Asian countries. In particular, I emphasize low tax/GDP ratios and inelastic expenditure/GDP ratios which then lead to structurally entrenched fiscal deficits. The paper also reports on the sustainability of fiscal and current account deficits in the South Asian countries. Finally, the paper reports on some important issues in tax reform in South Asian counties. These include explaining and finding an antidote for low tax/GDP ratios and analyzing the scope for a VAT. Some general principles are enunciated but many of the required reforms have to be context specific.
|Title of host publication
|Routledge Handbook of South Asian Economics
|Place of Publication
|London & New York
|Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
|Published - 2011