Fiscal deficit may be less than 5.2 percent in 2012-13: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 04, 2013 14:20 hrs

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Monday said fiscal deficit in the current financial year is likely to be less than the provisional figure of 5.2 percent announced in the national budget last week.

In a post-budget meeting with representatives of industry associations, Chidambaram said: "We have contained our fiscal deficit at 5.2 percent. When the final numbers come, it might be slightly better than 5.2 percent."

In the union budget for 2013-14 announced last week, Chidambaram had said the fiscal deficit for the financial year ending March 31, 2013 will be 5.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). For the next financial year, the fiscal deficit target has been fixed at 4.8 percent.

Chidambaram said high current account deficit was more worrisome than the fiscal deficit.

"While the fiscal deficit is a matter of concern, the current account deficit is more worrying," he said, adding that the government must take steps to attract foreign funds to ease the burden.

Chidambaram ruled out rollback of duty hikes especially on sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

Addressing the event, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Naina Lal Kidwai urged the government to show prudence in expenditure.

Kidwai hoped that the proposed Tax Administration Reforms Commission will help address the ineffective dispute resolution mechanism and release nearly Rs.2 lakh crore locked up in adjudication and Rs.43,000 crore held up in IT refunds.

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