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Fiscal deficit will be restricted to 5.3 percent: Arvind Mayaram

Posted on Nov 08, 08:46PM | IANS

The government will take all possible steps to restrict fiscal deficit to 5.3 percent of the GDP this financial year, Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said Thursday.

"Fiscal deficit will be 5.3 percent. It will not be more than 5.3 percent. Whatever measures it requires to be taken, will be taken," Mayaram told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the World Economic Forum here.

The government has set a target to restrict the fiscal deficit at 5.3 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). However, independent studies suggest that the fiscal deficit would be much higher than 5.3 percent.

In fact, the budgetary target for the fiscal deficit is 5.1 percent of the GDP.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram last month announced five-year road map for fiscal consolidation that targets to halve the fiscal deficit to three percent by 2016-17 from 5.8 percent recorded in the financial year ended March 31, 2012.

The plan envisages the union government's fiscal deficit to come down to 4.8 percent in 2013-14, 4.2 percent in 2014-15, 3.6 percent in 2015-16 and three percent in 2016-17.

When asked about the government's plan of additional market borrowings, Mayaram said there is no such immediate plan.

"We have not decided anything about the additional borrowings. We will assess around February what our requirement is," he said.