Concerned by the government’s ‘lackadaisical’ approach to achieving the fiscal deficit target, a Parliamentary panel has pulled up the finance ministry, asking it to spell out specific measures.
“The committee are constrained to note that as apprehended, the fiscal deficit target for 2012-13 has slipped to 5.3 per cent in the revised estimate from the Budget estimate of 5.1 per cent... The committee cannot but deplore the lackadaisical approach of the government,” said an action taken report of the Standing Committee on Finance.
The report, which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday, said that the finance ministry’s reply is ‘elusive’ on specific details of the sectors and schemes identified in curtailing the growth in non-developmental expenditure during the financial year and progress made so far.
The panel also deplored the ministry’s approach given the “gloomy economic situation, estimated slowdown of GDP growth to 5.5 per cent or so in 2012-13, widening current account deficit and impact on revenue mobilisation”.
To rationalise expenditure needs of ministries and schemes, the committee has also suggested that the finance ministry set up expert group. It has also sought the government’s views on rating of ministries based on overall performance with regard to timely utilisation of budget funds.