Government will maintain fiscal deficit target: Rathin Roy

Member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Rathin Roy on Thursday said the central government will do its best to maintain the fiscal deficit target of 3.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the current fiscal.

"I am sure the government will do its best to maintain the 3.2 per cent fiscal deficit target," he said on the sidelines of the Finance and Economics Conference, organised by the International Management Institute here.

The Centre's decision to "raise additional market borrowings of Rs 50,000 crore only in fiscal 2017-18 through dated government securities" raised concerns that it may miss the fiscal deficit target.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his last budget speech, pegged the fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at 3.2 per cent of the GDP, saying the Centre would remain committed to achieving three per cent in the following year.

Jaitley had also said that the government had taken note of the fiscal deficit roadmap of three per cent recommended by the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management) Review Committee for the next three years.

Responding to a query on the government's focus for the upcoming union budget for 2018-19, Roy said the government should focus on prudent fiscal policy, so as to deliver inclusive economic growth.

However, Roy, who is also Director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, hailed the West Bengal government for increasing the state's own tax collections, controlling expenditure and bringing efficiency in expenditure.

--IANS

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