After implementing the UPA government’s disinvestment plans for the past six months, Sunil Mitra on Sunday took over as the Revenue Secretary, less than a month before the Budget presentation in Parliament.
“Mr. Mitra today assumed charge of the Revenue Secretary,” an official in Revenue Department of the Finance Ministry said.
A crucial task of striking a fine balance between compressing fiscal deficit and promoting economic growth awaits Mr. Mitra at the North Block. His assuming office of the Revenue Secretary comes at a time when a debate raging on whether the government should roll back some of stimulus measures or not.
The Reserve Bank in its last quarterly policy review had advised the Finance Ministry to start rollback of some of stimulus measures. However, the industry has voiced its strong concern against any withdrawal till the recovery is on a strong footing.
The government had cut excise duty by six per cent, service tax by two per cent in phases from December 2008 and stepped up the Plan expenditure to provide stimulus to the then slowing down economy.
However, this has hit the exchequer hard with fiscal deficit projected to widen to 6.8 per cent of the GDP this fiscal, whereas it should have come down to 3 per cent by the last fiscal, as per the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.