Fiscal deficit target of 3.3% realistic: Finance secy

People watch Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabling Union Budget 2019-20, at Vashi in Navi Mumbai, Friday, July 5, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Dismissing apprehension over meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of the GDP, the finance ministry on Friday said the lower target is realistic as the government is expecting net additional revenue of Rs 6,000 crore over the interim Budget estimates.

The government in the interim Budget in February had projected a fiscal deficit of 3.4 per cent for the current fiscal.

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Several critics including some rating agencies have doubted prospects of meeting this ambitious fiscal deficit target.

Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg in a customary briefing post Budget said, "On the revenue side as compared to actual of 2018-19, direct taxes are expected to increase by 17.5 per cent, indirect taxes are going up by only 15 per cent. This is very realistic targets in our judgement. On non-tax side, there is also an increase as we are expecting better dividends."

On expenditure side, he said, it is more or less the interim Budget only with an increase of Rs 2,000 crore.

"All these put together gives us a saving of Rs 6,000 crore as compared to interim Budget that brings down fiscal deficit from 3.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

"Some concern raised that outside Budget there might be borrowing even there, there is the reduction. The fully serviced bonds, it has been brought down from Rs 64,000 crore to Rs 56,000-57,000 crore...so the number is reasonable," he said.

In the full Budget for 2019-20, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced reduction in the fiscal deficit target.

"The fiscal deficit this year is 3.3 per cent brought down from 3.4 per cent," she said while presenting Budget in the Lok Sabha.

Fiscal deficit is the difference between expenditure and revenue.

Earlier in the day, Moody's said there are risks of India missing 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target for the current financial year if tax revenue falls short of projection.

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