FinMin hopeful of containing fiscal deficit at 5.3%

FinMin hopeful of containing fiscal deficit at 5.3% New Delhi: The government is hopeful of restricting fiscal deficit at 5.3 percent of the GDP in the current fiscal year in view of savings on certain expenditure and the likelihood of garnering budgeted proceeds from disinvestment and spectrum sale.

"We are likely to have some savings and with inflow of proceeds from disinvestment and spectrum sale, the fiscal deficit target would not exceed 5.3 percent," a Finance Ministry official said.

The government had earlier enhanced the fiscal deficit target from 5.1 percent to 5.3 percent in view of higher expenditure for meeting additional outgo towards subsidies.

In the Winter Session of Parliament, the government had sought an additional Rs 28,500 crore to meet the rising fuel subsidy bill, over the Rs 43,000 crore earmarked in Budget 2012-13.

In order to control expenditure, the government had raised the diesel prices by over Rs 5 per litre and limit the supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to six per family per year.

Revenue collection, the official said, may not be as per the estimates, but savings in plan expenditure would take care of the shortfall.

The government, in the Budget, had proposed to raise Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment. Although it has so far raised just over Rs 6,900 crore, plans are afoot to expedite the process of stake sale in the next two-and-a-half months to meet the target, the official said.

PTI