New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that the government was confident and would strictly maintain the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target. Addressing reporters after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crucial economic review meeting, the Finance Minister asserted that the government is confident of surpassing the 7.2-7.5 per cent GDP growth rate projected in the Budget for 2018-19. He also exuded confidence of surpassing the Rs 1 lakh crore target from disinvestment proceeds. Also Read - Vaccination Against COVID-19 Begins in India, Bailey Bridge on Jammu-Srinagar Highway Opens After 1 Week: Top Headlines at This Hour
“We will stick to fiscal deficit target,” Jaitley said, adding that the capital expenditure targets will also be met. (Also Read: Modi Govt’s 5 Measures to Stop Depreciation of Rupee ‘Half-hearted’, Claims Chidambaram) Also Read - New Vistadome Jan Shatabdi Express For Ahmedabad to Kevadia From Today | In Pictures
“As far as capital expenditure is concerned, already we have spent about 44% of the budgeted expenditure till 31 August and we’ll end the year without any cuts and will maintain the 100% capital expenditure,” Jaitley stated. Also Read - PM Modi Launches India's Vaccination Drive, Gets Emotional as he Thanks Frontline Workers | Top Quotes From His Address to Nation
He also noted the income tax collections have been robust with expanding base and collections will exceed budgetary targets. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said, is settling down.
“With regard to GST and other indirect taxes, GST is settling down and with the kind of pickup in consumption which has taken place, it will have an impact on GST collection in future months and we’re confident that between direct and indirect tax collections, govt would comfortably meet target,” Jaitley told reporters.
Claiming that Inflation is under control, the Finance Minister further said,”The govt is confident that we will have a growth rate higher than what he had projected earlier this year in the budget. The inflation is broadly under control.”
The Finance Minister however parried reporters’ questions whether the issue of petroleum prices, which have hit the roof, and whether the possibility of a cut in prices were discussed, saying it was essentially an internal discussion relating to the departments of the Finance Ministry.
Notably, Saturday’s meeting came a day after the Prime Minister Modi discussed with Jaitley and Finance Ministry officials the current economic situation after which the Finance Minister announced five measures to curb the widening current account deficit besides a policy to limit non-essential imports and to encourage exports.
(With inputs from agencies)