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Government hopeful of meeting fiscal deficit target

Posted on Nov 16, 10:41PM | IANS

The government is hopeful of meeting the 5.3 percent fiscal deficit target in the current financial year despite a poor response to the second generation (2G) spectrum auction, Finance Minister P. Chidambram said Friday.

"We still have some time left in this financial year and I am hopeful of getting revenues from somewhere to manage fiscal deficit," Chidambaram told reporters here.

The government managed to raise only Rs.9,400 crore in the 2G spectrum auction early this week against a target of Rs.40,000 crore. There was no taker for almost half of the airwaves put up for auction.

This has raised questions over the government's plan to contain fiscal deficit at 5.3 percent in the current financial year as compared to 5.8 percent in 2011-12.

In the union budget for 2012-13 presented in March, the government set a target to contain fiscal deficit at 5.1 percent. However, Chidambaram recently revised the target at 5.3 percent.

Chidambaram said the government hoped to get Rs.30,000 crore revenue from disinvestment that would help meet the fiscal deficit target.

On 2G auction, the finance minister said the government would go for another round of auction before the end of the current financial year.