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Saturday 6 June 2020

Interim FM promises to meet fiscal deficit target despite being election year

Fiscal deficit stood at 3.53% of the GDP, broadly in line with the government's revised estimates for 2017-18

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New Delhi: The government is committed to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% for the current fiscal, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday while addressing an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The interim finance minister promised that the government will maintain stability in the economy and meet all economic parameters fixed by the government.

“I can assure that we will meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3%, despite this being an election year,” he said. Fiscal deficit stood at 3.53% of the GDP, broadly in line with the government’s revised estimates for 2017-18.

The government is committed to meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% for the current fiscal despite it being an election year, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said.

He also said that there will not be a spending cut to meet the target as the government has enough alternative resources for planned expenditure.

“Fiscal digit this year will be down to 3.3% and I can assure you that we are monitoring and working to ensure that fiscal deficit will be contained at 3.3% despite this being an election year, despite this being a year traditionally, and I will urge you to look at history be it 2013-14, be it 2007-08 or 2008-09, where fiscal deficits, microeconomic stability, good governance — all were thrown to the wind for political exigencies,” Goyal said.

The revenue deficit was 2.65% of the GDP. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit was Rs 5.91 lakh crore, or 99.5 per cent, of the Budget estimates. The government, in the Budget in February, had revised the fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 to 3.5% from the earlier estimate of 3.2%.

Asked if the rise in oil prices will have an impact on the fiscal deficit, Goyal said this government has been very responsible, both in the management in the economy and management of prices.

On Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), he said that 481 centrally sponsored schemes have come under this scheme, and Rs 3.65 lakh crore has already been directly transferred to bank accounts of beneficiaries.

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