Jait­ley will bud­get for all views on pub­lic spend­ing

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Faced with di­vided views on pub­lic spend­ing, fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley on Satur­day said he was ac­tively con­sid­er­ing the pros and cons of higher pub­lic spend­ing and its im­pact on the fis­cal maths. Jait­ley said the fi­nal de­ci­sion on the fis­cal deficit tar­get would be spelled out in the bud­get based on the re­sources, growth po­ten­tial and tax buoy­ancy. Jait­ley’s com­ments came in the wake of RBI gov­er­nor Raghu­ram Ra­jan’s state­ment warn­ing the govern­ment over in­creased bor­row­ings to spur spend­ing for higher eco­nomic growth risk­ing macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity.

“I can tell you I have been con­sult­ing all shades of opin­ion. This is the first time that I have come across peo­ple hold­ing sharply di­vided views and each one has a strong ar­gu­ment in his favour. There is an ar­gu­ment be­ing given that in the cur­rent eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion pub­lic in­vest­ment holds the key,” Jait­ley said. “Then there is an­other ar­gu­ment, and the al­ter­nate ar­gu­ment is also equally im­por­tant with re­gard to cred­i­bil­ity of govern­ment. One year you de­vi­ated from tar­get, will you do it again and par­tic­u­larly if oil prices are onethird of what they were? If you still can’t meet the tar­get, when will you do that? And, there­fore, both the ar­gu­ments have a way.”

CON­TIN­UED ON P4

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