FM meets financial advisers to discuss curbs on spending - The New Indian Express

FM meets financial advisers to discuss curbs on spending

Published: 18th September 2013 09:41 AM

Last Updated: 18th September 2013 09:41 AM

Finance Minister P Chidambaram today chaired a meeting of financial advisers of various ministries to consider ways to curb wasteful expenditure and keep the fiscal deficit within the budget target.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam and Finance Secretary R S Gujral.

"We wanted to check the level of spending. We asked the financial advisers of different ministries to spend money in a way as you spend your own money," Seelam told reporters after the meeting.

Chidambaram had recently said "hard decisions" would be taken to trim wasteful expenditure and curb the import of "inessential" items.

Financial advisers play a crucial role in controlling spending and report directly to the Expenditure Secretary in the Finance Ministry.

Curbing non-essential expenditure has become important as the fiscal deficit has reached 62.8 per cent of the budgeted target in the first five months of the financial year.

Last year, the government cut plan expenditure by about Rs 93,000 crore. The government also did not allow ministries to spend more than one-third of their annual outlay in the last quarter.

Chidambaram has reiterated that the fiscal deficit target budgeted for the current year will not be crossed.

"The fiscal deficit target of 4.8 per cent is a red line and the red line will not be crossed," he had said.

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