'Focus on fiscal deficit target'

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 15:04 hrs

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday said maintaining the fiscal deficit target was extremely important, for which subsidies in other areas need to be rationalised, according to officials present at a conference of the Planning Commission with state planning boards that he addressed.

Ahluwalia said there was broad consensus that the fiscal deficit needs to be brought down to 1.4 per cent of the GDP in the terminal year of the XII Five-Year Plan from the current levels, officials said.

They said the deputy chairman was of the view that the present system of subsidised services was not sustainable and will lead to cutting down development initiatives.

States, in their presentations during the meeting highlighted the achievements made under various development schemes in sectors such as health, education, skill development, power.

The deputy chairman also said Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the 11th five-year plan has been a enormous success in sectors where traditionally public sector has been mostly present. He however, acknowledged that there are some issues with PPP in social sectors. Ahluwalia said one area of poor performance is malnutrition, while has also been highlighted by the Prime Minister.

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