Easing CAD Helps FM to Focus on Tax Reforms

Jaitley optimistic about meeting fiscal deficit target of 4.1% this fiscal

Published: 28th January 2015 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2015 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

Arun-Jaitley

NEW DELHI: Fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal, which has been pegged at 4.1 per cent of the GDP, will be met, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday.

Expressing optimism at a turnaround of the manufacturing sector, the Finance Minister said, “Even though revenues have been challenging due to slow manufacturing industry, now, it is turning around and it looks like we will be able to meet our fiscal targets.” he said at an investiture ceremony to honour customs officials.

Regarding the current account deficit (CAD), the Finance Minister said it is likely to look much better.

Rising gold imports widened CAD to $10.1 billion or 2.1 per cent of GDP in July-September quarter of this fiscal, up from 1.2 per cent a year ago. CAD is the net difference between inflows and outflows of foreign currencies.

He also said that India’s currency was among the strongest despite pressures on other currencies the world over.

“Our currency is one of those two global currencies that withstood the might of the US dollar. Most of the global currencies are under pressure,” he said.

“From depressing slowdown in last two-three years, suddenly our growth rates are likely to look up. On the other hand, competing economies globally have not been so good,” the Finance Minister said.

“Brazil faces a challenge, South Africa faces challenge. Europe is still struggling to come out of slowdown. China which has maintained a growth rate of over 9 per cent over 3 decades is looking at new normal,” he said.

Allaying fears of a hostile tax environment, the Finance Minister said that the government is working towards an investor friendly tax administration.

“There is a huge amount of interest and curiosity. Along with this, there were two concerns... our decision making being slow and lack of policy stablity...,” he said.

“The second major concern has been globally expressed at all forums... principal concern that (was) repeatedly  expressed is strapped structure of India and its administration highly adversarial.”

Jaitley also gave a strong warning to tax evaders. “No evader or avoider must be allowed to go scot-free. At the same time, the levels of civility that we require in dealing with assesses will have to be very logical, very cogent,” he said.

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