| Re­view meet brings no cheer, FM Jait­ley ducks ques­tions on fuel prices|


ALL eyes were pinned on the two-day long eco­nomic re­view meet­ing chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to dis­cuss key eco­nomic is­sues, in­clud­ing the de­pre­ci­a­tion in ru­pee value and ris­ing fuel prices, but it brought no cheer for the com­mon man.

While some re­lief was ex­pected in the form of ex­cise duty cut on the all­time high petrol and diesel prices, it did not come by.

“The Prime Min­is­ter has ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion...,” Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley told re­porters on Satur­day, af­ter the re­view meet­ing in New Delhi.

With in­fla­tion broadly un­der con­trol, the gov­ern­ment would stick to its cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture and fis­cal tar­gets for the cur­rent year, Jait­ley said, vir­tu­ally rul­ing out any im­me­di­ate cut in fuel prices and duck­ing all ques­tions on fuel prices.

“The gov­ern­ment is con­fi­dent and com­mit­ted to strictly main­tain­ing the 3.3 per cent fis­cal deficit tar­get. As far as cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture is con­cerned, for main­tain­ing the high tra­jec­tory growth, we will end the year with­out any cuts and main­tain 100 per cent cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture nec­es­sary for it,” the Min­is­ter said af­ter a three-hour meet­ing at the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fi­cial res­i­dence.

“From the Fi­nance Min­istry’s side, we are tak­ing all steps to meet the fis­cal deficit tar­get for the year. We will main­tain the tar­get,” Jait­ley said, ex­press­ing con­fi­dence in see­ing a growth rate higher than what was pro­jected ear­lier this year. It will ex­ceed the di­vest­ment tar­get, he added.

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