Centre to ‘strictly’ maintain fiscal deficit at 3.3%: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley Narendra Modi arun jaitley economy jaitley fiscal deficit modi economic review current account deficit Indian forex reserve indian economy indian imports indian exports modi jaitley meeting rupee fall gdp

Arun Jaitley Narendra Modi arun jaitley economy jaitley fiscal deficit modi economic review current account deficit Indian forex reserve indian economy indian imports indian exports modi jaitley meeting rupee fall gdp

He said the government was confident that it would surpass the direct tax collection target and would meet or surpass the overall tax collection target, including that of the goods and services tax (GST).

He also exuded the confidence of surpassing the Rs 1 lakh crore target from disinvestment proceeds. "The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is very clear that this year we will be able to collect in excess of the budgeted target", said Jaitley.

"The government is confident and will strictly maintain the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target", Jaitley told reporters after the over three-hour long meeting.

The meeting on Saturday assumes significance due to free fall in the value of the Rupee and increase in fuel prices which are life time high. He said that during a presentation given by RBI it was said that India's growth is fast compared to other economies and inflation was also in moderate rage.

Notably, Saturday's meeting came a day after the Prime Minister Modi discussed with Jaitley and Finance Ministry officials the current economic situation after which the Finance Minister announced five measures to curb the widening current account deficit besides a policy to limit non-essential imports and to encourage exports.

The government has made a decision to withdraw withholding tax on Masala bonds, allow some breathing space to foreign portfolio investments, and check non-essential imports and promote exports in order to arrest the decline in rupee and check the widening current account deficit. This comment appears to be reply to some experts who fear that the fiscal deficit will be higher than the budget target as deficit (difference between income and the expenditure of the Government) for the first four months (April-July) of the current fiscal has already exceeded 86.5 per cent. The fuel hike has led petrol touching a record high of Rs 81.63 per litre and diesel to Rs 73.54 a litre.


"The primary focus of yesterday's discussions was with regard to current account deficit and how to narrow it down and possible steps with that regard".

On the second day of the economic review meeting chaired by PM Modi, which comes on the back of a sharp depreciation in the rupee and the spike in crude oil prices, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) gave a detailed presentation.

The government had projected a GDP growth rate of 7.2-7.5% in the Budget 2018-19.

"There is a phenomenal increase in the quantum of advance tax which has been paid".

Continuing briefing the media, FM Jaitley invoked the demonetisation issue and said that it has impacted the economy as it was an anti-black money measure.

On GST, he said the new indirect tax regime is settling down and "with the kind of pick up in consumption which has taken place, obviously will have an impact on GST collections in the future months".

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