Centre to pursue subsidy reforms to contain deficit at 3.5 pct: Jayant Sinha

By: |
Updated: April 28, 2015 5:07:38 PM

Reiterating commitment to stick to the fiscal consolidation road map, the government today said it will continue with subsidy reforms.

jayant sinhaJayant Sinha gestures during an interview in New Delhi, India, April 27, 2015. India will not take away the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) power to regulate trade in government bonds even as it prepares to remove the central bank’s responsibility for managing public debt, he said. (Reuters)

“Government is committed to progressively pursuing subsidy reforms,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

As per the fiscal consolidation road map of the government, fiscal deficit is to be brought down to 3.9 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 and further to 3.5 per cent in 2016-17. The deficit was 4.1 per cent in previous fiscal.

“Government is firmly committed to the path of fiscal consolidation. Fiscal consolidation over medium term has been designed with the judicious mix of reduction in total expenditure as percentage of GDP and improvement in gross tax revenue as percentage of GDP,” Sinha said.

He said while both petrol and diesel prices have been deregulated, the government has launched a direct benefit transfer scheme for LPG subsidy from January 2015 to avoid duplication and prevent leakages.

In a reply to a separate question, Sinha said requests have been received from states for permission to borrow in relaxation of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) norms.

He said action is being taken within the parameters laid down by the Finance Commission.

Around 4 lakh demat accounts frozen by depositories: Sinha

Nearly four lakh demat accounts with securities worth Rs 4,755 crore have been frozen by the top depositories till March 2015, Parliament was informed today.

These demat accounts have been frozen by Central Depository Services Ltd (CDSL) and National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) due to non-compliance with mandatory Permanent Account Number (PAN) provisions.

Investors were required to provide PAN card details for opening demat accounts from April 2006.

“The total number of frozen accounts as on March 31, 2015 were 3,78,902 with a total holdings being Rs 4,755 crore,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

“…the depositories have sent letters to the concerned beneficial owners asking them to update their PAN details with their depository participant. The depositories have also informed the investors of the same through emails, SMS alerts, investor depository meetings, newspapers advertisements etc,” he added.

These depositories had frozen a total of 43,51,794 accounts as on December 31, 2006 due to non-compliance with PAN requirements.

About 90 per cent of the frozen accounts have already been unfrozen since January 2007.

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Next Stories
1Trai makes 1 mn IDs public, invites hactivists to its website
2FCI to seek loan cover from LIC
3Steel firms turn pessimistic on Afghan project