Defying the general expectation by sticking to fiscal deficit target to 3.3 per cent, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday dismissed apprehension over meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of the GDP and has expressed confidence on maintaining fiscal prudence.
“The fiscal path of the government in the last five years had been exemplary. We are confident about achieving the fiscal targets,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while responding to one of the questions, on how she will achieve the target of 3.3 per cent during post-budget discussions.
She added that the government is confident about achieving strategic divestment target and this coupled with increased dividend and some measures like cess on petrol and diesel and high tax of HNIs, will help the government with its fiscal math.
The government in the interim Budget in February had projected a fiscal deficit of 3.4 per cent for the current fiscal. Several critics doubted the prospects of meeting this ambitious fiscal deficit target.
“On the revenue side as compared to actual of 2018-19, direct taxes are expected to increase by 17.5 per cent, indirect taxes are going up by only 15 per cent. This is very realistic targets in our judgement. On non-tax side, there is also an increase as we are expecting better dividends,” Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg clarified.
He also added that the government is expecting divident from the RBI to the tune of Rs 90,000 crore.
“Some concern raised that outside Budget there might be borrowing even there, there is the reduction. The fully serviced bonds, it has been brought down from Rs 64,000 crore to Rs 56,000-57,000 crore...so the number is reasonable,” she said.