Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday reiterated that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central Government is confident of strictly maintaining the fiscal deficit target at 3.3 per cent. Addressing the media here, Jaitley said, “The Prime Minister took a review of the various departments of the Ministry of Finance, following which he expressed his satisfaction with regard to the broad parameters in relation to the economy and the macroeconomic parameters which are emerging this year. The government is confident and will strictly maintain the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target.”
“As far as capital expenditure is concerned, which is necessary for maintaining a high trajectory growth, already we have spent about 44 per cent of the budgeted expenditure till August 31 and we’ll end the year without any cuts and will maintain the 100 per cent capital expenditure,” Jaitley added. The Finance Minister also expressed the government’s confidence in maintaining a growth rate higher than what was projected in the budget earlier this year, adding that the inflation is broadly under control. Jaitley further stated that the government was ahead of schedule as far as the direct tax collection was concerned and that the impact of the anti-black money measures – Demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government– was apparent.
“There is a phenomenal increase in the assessee base – the number of people filing returns. The CBDT made it clear that we will collect in excess of what was the budgeted target. With regard to the GST and other indirect taxes, the GST is settling down and with the kind of pickup in consumption which has taken place, it will have an impact on GST collection in future months and we’re confident that the government would comfortably meet the targets,” Jaitley said. Speaking on the non-tax revenues, Jaitley said that the program for divestment and strategic sales for this year were considered and that the government was confident of surpassing their targets. “We are optimistic about our growth rate, about our tax collections, and certainly as far as the fiscal deficit is concerned, we are confident we will be able to meet the 3.3 per cent target,” Jaitley said in conclusion.