Pre-Budget session with agri sector today

The finance ministry will hold pre-Budget consultations with the representatives of the farm sector on Wednesday. This will be followed by consultations with bankers, which is expected to take place next Monday, and with industrialists later.

The ministry has already held one round of consultations with CII and Ficci, last month.
This year’s pre-Budget consultation comes at a time when the Indian economy has logged one of its lowest growth rates in a decade, inflation has been on a higher side, fiscal and current account deficits have breached the comfort zone, rupee has depreciated and drought spoiled India’s agriculture sector’s dream run.

Despite strong monetary tightening, headline inflation continues to be around 9 per cent, which is cause for worry. A high government expenditure on social sector schemes and subsidies has made it almost difficult to meet its fiscal target of 5.3 per cent of GDP this year.

Fiscal deficit in April-November was Rs 4.12 lakh crore, or 80.4 per cent of the financial year target, according to the latest government figures. Revenue collection has been Rs 4.54 lakh crore, or 46.5 per cent of the target, and expenditure was at Rs 8.67 lakh crore or 58.2 per cent.

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