Govt making efforts to stick to fiscal deficit target: Jaitley

Govt making efforts to stick to fiscal deficit target: Jaitley

Govt making efforts to stick to fiscal deficit target: Jaitley

The government will make efforts to keep fiscal deficit within the targeted limit even as investments remain a challenge, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

"The global situation is favourable to the country as more and more investors are showing curiosity and interest in India. Our major challenges will be to boost investment, especially in infrastructure sector, and give further boost to both manufacturing and agriculture sector, among others," he said at the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee here.

He said the overall economic situation in the country is looking better and basic parameters of Indian economy are moving in the right direction.

"Current account deficit will be under control and will try to keep fiscal deficit also within the prescribed limit," he said.

Jaitley further said the growth rate in current fiscal "would be better than the last year as per the old system". Indian economy grew at 4.7 per cent in 2013-14 fiscal as per the old method.

The country has changed its methodology for calculating growth rate, estimating that in 2013-14 the GDP expansion was 6.9 per cent. As per estimates, the growth rate would be 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal.

The government has budgeted its fiscal deficit for the year ending March at 4.1 per cent of the GDP, down from 4.5 in 2013-14.

As regards the current account deficit -- the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange -- RBI has projected it to be 1.3 per cent of the GDP in current fiscal, lower than 1.7 per cent in 2013-14.

Regarding bringing back black money stashed abroad, Jaitley said that India will soon become part of international consortium where the focus would be on automatic transfer of information which would in turn help the government in getting easy access to such foreign accounts of Indian residents.

In the Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting, the members gave suggestions on the Budget that include structural reforms in manufacturing sector, incentives in income tax for exporters and online scrutiny of tax returns to bring high level of transparency and probity.

Steps to broaden the tax base and impose small tax at flat rate on everyone including small businessmen and significant increase in allocation for judicial sector for setting-up fast track courts were also suggested.

The members of the Committee include Anirudhan Sampath, Baijayanta Jai Panda, Kailkesh Narayan Singh Deo, Anil Desai, K P Ramalingam and Kumari Selja.

Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and other finance ministry officials attended the meet. Besides Chief Economic Adviser, chairpersons of CBDT and CBEC were also present.

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