Govt achieves revenue collection target

Govt achieves revenue collection target

Amid government almost achieving the revenue collection target for fiscal 2012-13, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the fiscal deficit or the gap between the government’s revenues and expenditure will be less than the revised budgetary target of 5.2 per cent.

“In the indirect taxes, there was excess over the target. In the direct taxes, there was a shortfall over target. But overall we have achieved the target of over Rs 10.38 lakh crore,” Chidambaram said, adding that the revenue growth in 2012-13 is expected to be 16.7 per cent. The revenue growth of 16 per cent is expected despite the projected economic growth dipping to 5 per cent in the fiscal year 2012-13.

The Finance Minister also assured that the overall Current Account Deficit (CAD) will come down to a more “tolerable” level this fiscal despite the number being at an historic high of 6.7 in the third quarter ended December last year. “If you are surprised by the largeness of the third quarter number, perhaps you will be surprised by the smallness of annual number. I think the annual number will be more tolerable than the third quarter number,” Chidambaram said.

He, however, said that the government was trying to check gold imports, work on fuel linkages and enhance exports in order to reduce CAD, which is a difference between foreign inflows and outflows. He said that the government was taking steps to control inflation, which was a major reason for people to resort to investing in gold. Chidambaram was also optimistic of Insurance Amendment Bill, which seeks to raise FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent, will be passed soon in Parliament. “I sincerely hope that we can pass the Insurance Amendment Bill on which the difference only on one clause and once the Insurance Bill passes everybody’s broadly agrees that the Pension Bill will follow,” he said.

Chidambaram said he was in touch with the Leaders of Opposition on the Bill and that once the main Opposition party indicated its mind, he would consult other parties too.

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