Govt committed to keep fiscal deficit within budgetary target, says Jaitley

Modi govt takes steps to check current account deficit and rein in rupee

Modi govt takes steps to check current account deficit and rein in rupee

Review of mandatory hedging condition for infrastructure loans as already touched 86.5 per cent of the full year's target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore.

"We will stick to fiscal deficit target", he said, adding that the capital expenditure targets will also be met.

With 44 per cent of the budgeted capital expenditure estimate for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2019 already spent by August 31, the government "will end the year without any cut", he said, adding that it was extremely necessary to maintain 100 per cent capital expenditure for high growth rate.

He said the government was confident that it would surpass the direct tax collection target and would meet or surpass the overall tax collection target, including that of the goods and services tax (GST).

With regards to Masala bonds, Jaitley said it has been chose to do away with the withholding tax on bonds issued till March 2019.

Modi Government has assured that fiscal deficit for the current year will be within the budget target which is 3.3 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). He said that during a presentation given by RBI it was said that India's growth is fast compared to other economies and inflation was also in moderate rage.

The Finance Minister however parried reporters' questions whether the issue of petroleum prices, which have hit the roof, and whether the possibility of a cut in prices were discussed, saying it was essentially an internal discussion relating to the departments of the Finance Ministry. The government, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also chose to remove restrictions on external commercial borrowings, masala bonds to control the current account deficit, which slipped for the first time in six quarters in April-June. "The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is very clear that this year we will be able to collect in excess of the budgeted target", said Jaitley. The government is under pressure from the opposition parties over high fuel prices. However, "there are some issues on which immediate action is needed", the minister said while announcing steps to increase inflow of foreign funds and check current account deficit.

Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) gave a detailed presentation today, the Finance Minister said. "We are also optimistic of growth rate and tax collections". There is a phenomenal increase in assesses base. "We are now seeing the impact of demonetisation on direct taxes", said M.S. Mani, partner, Deloitte India.

On GST, he said the new indirect tax regime is settling down and "with the kind of pick up in consumption which has taken place, obviously will have an impact on GST collections in the future months".

Experts said that the optimism on meeting tax target was well placed.