Will meet all fis­cal tar­gets, jait­ley says af­ter re­view

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - News - Asit Ranjan Mishra and Gireesh Chan­dra Prasad let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

NEWDELHI: A day af­ter an­nounc­ing mea­sures to boost short-term cap­i­tal in­flows to rein in the ru­pee’s de­cline and curb a widen­ing cur­rent ac­count deficit, the gov­ern­ment said on Satur­day that it would stick to its fis­cal deficit and cap­i­tal spend­ing tar­gets in a sig­nal of its con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to fi­nan­cial pru­dence in a pre-elec­tion year.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley, af­ter a re­view meet­ing of all de­part­ments un­der his min­istry chaired by PM Naren­dra Modi, said the fis­cal deficit would be con­tained at the tar­geted 3.3% of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

Ris­ing oil prices, which have caused petrol and diesel prices at the pump to rise to records, and the de­clin­ing ru­pee, which has de­pre­ci­ated around 13% against the dol­lar since Jan­uary 1, mak­ing it Asia’s worst-per­form­ing cur­rency, are putting fi­nances un­der strain. Ris­ing oil prices and higher in­ter­est rates may mean that the fis­cal deficit tar­get will be missed, rat­ing com­pany Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice said this month.

“Gov­ern­ment is con­fi­dent of meet­ing the 3.3% fis­cal deficit tar­get,” Jait­ley said af­ter the re­view meet­ing. “The gov­ern­ment had spent 44% of the bud­geted cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture till 31 Au­gust and there will be no cuts in capex by the end of this year.”

Brief­ing re­porters af­ter the meet­ing Jait­ley said af­ter the pre­sen­ta­tions made by sec­re­taries of the de­part­ments of eco­nomic af­fairs, rev­enue, ex­pen­di­ture and dis­in­vest­ment, Prime Min­is­ter Modi ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion on var­i­ous as­pects of the econ­omy.

On Fri­day, Jait­ley an­nounced five mea­sures aimed at in­creas­ing the in­flow and stem­ming the out­flow of dol­lars, in­clud­ing two that per­tain to ex­ter­nal cur­rency bor­row­ings.

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