FM eyes 3% fiscal deficit cut by 2017

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 29, 2012 12:17 hrs

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the country will try to cut the fiscal deficit to 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2016-2017.

Unveiling the five-year roadmap for fiscal consolidation, he said the government will try to restrict the fiscal deficit in the current financial year to 5.3 per cent of GDP.

Pertinently, the fiscal deficit in 2011-12 was 5.8 per cent.

"As fiscal consolidation and investors´ confidence increases it is expected that the economy will return to the path of high investment, higher growth, lower inflation and long-term sustainability," Chidambaram said while addressing a press conference here.

"All flagship programmes designed to help the poor will be fully protected under the revised fiscal consolidation plan," he said.

Chidambaram said the government is ´confident´ that it will be able to raise Rs. 30,000 crore from disinvestment in current fiscal.

"Rs 30,000 crore is being targetted under disinvestment. We are confident we can raise Rs 30,000 crore. We are confident and we hope that we will collect the amount," said Chidambaram, adding that Rs 40,000 crore would be collected from sale of spectrum.

He said the government has accepted the Kelkar Committee´s recommendations on fiscal consolidation.

"With sound policy and determination we can strengthen the economy. The government is planning a new fiscal consolidation plan. I am confident current account deficit will be fully financed by inflows," Chidambaram said.

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