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India's Deficit-Cutting Plan Fickle as Clock

The finance minister has prohibited government officials from clinging to meetings at five-star hotels, limited travel and ordered a freeze on employing to fill up empty posts. A high-powered political veteran who commands both panic and esteem in officialdom, P. Chidambaram is grasping government ministries rigid to cut spending wherever they can, and swiftly, to aid strap in a widening economic dearth.

He is kind of a man under pressure and having an eye on the clock. Four weeks before to the day, he put himself and motivated target: to hold the government's economic shortfall for 2012/2013 to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product, even as doubtful private economists predict a deficit quicker to 6 percent.

But a chain of revenue-raising slows down since October 29 now means it will be about unfeasible for the government to meet that goal, economists says, and some finance ministry officials secretly agree. That increases the risk that praise rating agencies could demote India to refuse in the coming months.

"This has taken on a very big wisdom of necessity," said Rajiv Biswas, chief Asia economist at market information and analytics company IHS, as he told on Chidambaram to draw up a plausible medium-term road-map for cutting the scarcity.

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