Restricting fiscal deficit to 5.3% 'doable': P Chidambaram
"...in my considered view it is doable," he said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.
The Finance Minister said despite the temporary deviation from stringent fiscal consolidation targets necessitated by global financial crisis, the fiscal policy is being steered rapidly back to the path of prudence.
The government had originally targeted to bring fiscal deficit to 5.1 per cent in the current financial year, but revised it to 5.3 per cent. It was 5.9 per cent in 2011-12.
Referring to recently unveiled fiscal roadmap, Chidambaram also said he was optimistic that "we can achieve this".
As per the recent fiscal consolidation roadmap, government plans to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent in the next fiscal, 4.2 per cent in 2014-15, 3.6 per cent in 2015-16 and to three per cent in 2016-17.
The government has taken various steps towards expenditure reforms with a view to improving macroeconomic environment, he said.
It endeavours to restrict central subsidies bill in 2012-13, Chidambaram said, but added that some subsidy needs to be given towards food, fuel and fertiliser.
"...some subsidy has to be given for food, fuel and fertiliser...," he said, adding, the level of subsidy is determined by the economic situation.
The outgo on food, fuel and fertiliser subsidies in 2012-13 is pegged at over Rs 1.79 lakh crore. The government also got Parliament's nod for an additional Rs 28,500 crore towards petroleum subsidy in
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