Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the government is “confident and will strictly maintain” the 3.3% fiscal deficit target.
“The government is confident that we will have a growth rate higher than what we had projected this year in the Budget,” Mr. Jaitley added after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he reviewed the country’s economic situation.
The government had projected a GDP growth rate of 7.2-7.5% in the Budget 2018-19.
“…As far as capital expenditure is concerned, which is quite necessary for the purposes of maintaining high trajectory growth… already we have spent about 44% of the budgeted expenditure till August 31 and we'll end the year without any cuts and will maintain 100% capital expenditure,” the Finance Minister said.
At Saturday’s meeting, the second in two days, the Prime Minister reviewed the economic situation. On Friday, post the first meeting, the government announced some measures to narrow the current account deficit.
On Saturday, after detailed presentations by the Department of Economic Affairs, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Expenditure and DIPAM, the Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with regard to the broad parameters in relation to the economy and the macro economic data that had so far emerged for this year, Mr. Jaitley said.
“The Department of Revenue made a detailed presentation, where on the direct tax collections, we are already moving ahead of schedule and even though we had stiff targets as far as direct tax collections are concerned, we can now see the impact of all the anti-black money measures that we had taken, the demonetisation and the GST,” he said, adding that there had been a phenomenal increase in the assessee base.
‘Will exceed target’
He added that CBDT was “very clear” that this year the government would be able to collect taxes in excess of the budgeted target.
He also said that GST was settling down, and the pick-up in consumption was bound to have an impact on the collections.“We are quite confident that in between direct and the indirect tax collections, the government will comfortably meet the target, if not surpass it.”
On non-tax revenues, he added that the government was confident of maintaining the disinvestment target and may exceed it as well.