Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that the government will end the current fiscal year without any cuts and is confident of meeting the 3.3% fiscal deficit target, reported ANI. “The government so far has spent 44% of the budgeted capital expenditure and there will be no cuts in capital expenditure by the end of this year,” he said.
Jaitley’s comments came after an internal review meeting of all the departments of the finance ministry chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday. Jaitley said Modi expressed satisfaction about the broad parameters of the economy, reported Mint.
The government will be able to meet both direct tax, indirect tax, and non-tax revenue targets for the fiscal year, said Jaitley. “We will meet the direct and indirect tax collection targets, if not surpass them,” he said, adding that collections from the Goods and Services Tax would go up with an increase in consumption demand.
Jaitley also said the government is confident of a higher growth rate than that projected earlier this year. “The inflation is broadly under control,” he said.
The meeting came as the prices of petrol and diesel continued to rise due to the recent depreciation in the rupee’s value and a rise in international oil rates. While crude oil prices have been around the $80 per barrel mark, the rupee declined against the dollar this week, making imports costlier.
On September 10, Opposition parties staged a nationwide shutdown to protest against the rise in fuel prices and decline in rupee’s value. The Congress called for the bandh, and claimed to have the support of 21 parties.
After a meeting on Friday, the government decided to relax norms for overseas borrowing and impose restrictions on non-essential imports. Jaitley said these moves will help check the current account deficit as well as increase foreign exchange inflows, without specifying which items would face import restrictions.
The current account deficit is the difference between the worth of a country’s imports and its exports. A higher deficit means the country buys more products from overseas than it ships out as exports.