Govt committed to fiscal consolidation: Sinha

Govt committed to fiscal consolidation: Sinha

Govt committed to fiscal consolidation: Sinha

Asserting the government is committed to fiscal consolidation, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha today said the quality of figure was important and hinted at not resorting to massive expenditure cuts.

"We're very confident of our fiscal consolidation targets and our fiscal consolidation roadmap...Its not the number (of fiscal deficit), but it is quality of the numbers that is important. And that's really what we're working towards," he told reporters on the sidelines of the two-day bankers' conclave here.

The comments come within days of the fiscal deficit for the first eight months of the fiscal touching nearly 99 per cent mark of the budget amount for the entire fiscal.

Sinha strongly disapproved of the massive expenditure cuts adapted by the previous UPA regime to achieve the number and hinted that the present regime will not resort to the same.

"The number can always be achieved and it was achieved in the past through various mechanisms and measures that I don't think anyone of us was comfortable with," he said.

When asked if this meant the government will not go for expenditure cuts, he said, "we'll have to see. We'll do it the right way. We'll ensure that there are no headwinds to growth which we're trying to achieve."

The junior minister said the government is making efforts to raise the growth rate to 7-8 per cent and wants it to be sustainable in a way that the environment is not impacted and does not fan inflation.

"Along with sound economic management, we've to ensure that the economy gets the stimulus that it needs to get to much higher growth trajectory of 7-8 per cent and that is both sustainable in terms of environment and other inputs, as well as non-inflationary," he said.

However, he did not spell out details of how the government will achieve the 4.1 per cent fiscal deficit target if its not going for expenditure cuts.

It can be noted that all eyes are on the spectrum auctions to be conducted in February and the mop-up from the expected divestment process.