Friday, 19 October, 2018

Will achieve fiscal deficit target next year, says Arun Jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on thursday Finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on thursday
Elsie Buchanan | 11 February, 2018, 05:10

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Saturday exuded confidence that there will be no more fiscal slippages as the financial position is likely to be comfortable from the next fiscal.

Jaitley dismissed concerns that any sharp increase in global oil prices could make it hard for the government to attain its deficit target for the next fiscal year, which starts in April, Indian daily The Economic Times reported.

Addressing a press conference after meeting RBI's board in a customary post-Budget exercise in New Delhi, FM Jaitley also said that the last decision of the Monetary Policy Committee, chaired by RBI Governor Urjit Patel that chose to keep rates unchanged, was a balanced decision.

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"... As far as fiscal situation is concerned, I see next year to be more comfortable as far as revenues are concerned. I am sure we will be able to maintain the target quite well", Jaitley said, while speaking to the media after addressing the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. Touching upon the impact of oil prices, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said that while we need to be prepared for oil price movements on the either side, it is hard to predict anything. Few months ago, around June, people were talking of oil prices not going above $40-45 per barrel and some of the advice that came to the MPC and RBI was based on that. It was wrong to say that long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax would have no impact on Indian but it would be minimal, said Tyagi, adding that global factors posed a bigger risk. On credit growth, Patel said that it was now at 11 per cent and that there are indications of the pick-up in the credit growth in future. The board also discussed the implementation of the Budget announcements related to Sebi.

Jaitley in his budget for 2018-19 had said that Sebi would consider mandating, beginning with large corporate houses, meeting about one-fourth of the companies' financing needs from the bond market. "Issues such as impact of MSP on the farmers and overall prices and global competition also came up", said Jaitley without elaborating further. Besides Jaitley, the Sebi board meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas, Sebi's board members G Mahalingam, Arun P Sathe and Madhabi Puri Buch and other senior officials of the regulator.

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