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'No Expenditure Cut in FY'18 to Meet Fiscal Deficit Target'

When asked how the government will meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.5 percent, Expenditure Secretary said indirect tax collections have already been factored into the revised target.

PTI

Updated:March 1, 2018, 4:59 PM IST
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'No Expenditure Cut in FY'18 to Meet Fiscal Deficit Target'
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New Delhi: The government will not go for an expenditure cut in 2017-18 to meet fiscal deficit target of 3.5 percent of GDP even as it has breached the level of 113.7 percent of the target, Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha said on Thursday.

"There is no expenditure cut. There has been a policy, there will not be any expenditure cut," Jha told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

When asked how the government will meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.5 percent, he said indirect tax collections have already been factored into the revised target.

The government has accounted for only 11-month of GST against 12-month of expenses as March GST numbers would come in April. Fiscal deficit has touched Rs 6.77 lakh crore at the end of January 2018, 113.7 percent of the target for the year, on account of higher expenditure.

The government had revised upwards the fiscal deficit at Rs 5.95 lakh crore or 3.5 percent of GDP in the recent Union Budget. Earlier, the fiscal deficit target was 3.2 percent. Jha said the economy is looking up as the key sectors are showing buoyancy and growth.

"We expect that it will grow further and as per expectations. As far as fiscal deficit is concerned...a lot of adjustments will take place through recoveries which means that there is a net budgeting aspect," he said.

Further, he said the buoyancy in revenue also comes in the last two months of financial year and the fiscal deficit numbers will remain well within the revised target. Because of the early budget last year, the expenditure pace has been remarkably good, said the official.
| Edited by: Tarun Bhardwaj
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