Parliament Passes Appropriation Bill
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Parliament today approved the Appropriation Bill, 2012 amidst government's assertion that it intends to bring down fiscal deficit to three per cent of the GDP by 2016-17 from the projected 5.3 per cent in the current fiscal.

"Our government is committed to bringing fiscal deficit down to 5.3 per cent in the current year and progressively to three per cent by 2016-17," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena in Rajya Sabha.

The Appropriation Bill, 2012, was returned by Rajya Sabha allowing the government to raise expenditure to the tune of Rs 32,120 crore in 2012-13. The bill was earlier passed by Lok Sabha.

Replying to a debate on the Bill, he said the government plans to bring down the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent in the next fiscal, 4.2 per cent in 2014-15, 3.6 per cent in 2015-16 and to three per cent in 2016-17.

The Minister said that in order to achieve the targeted 5.3 per cent fiscal deficit in the current fiscal, government has initiated a slew of non-planned expenditure which includes restriction on foreign visits by the officials.

The government had earlier revised its fiscal deficit target at 5.3 per cent of GDP this financial year, higher than the previous target of 5.1 per cent but lower than last year's 5.8 per cent.

Meena said the fiscal deficit, which came down to 2.7 per cent in 2007-08, started picking up due to various reasons such as global economic condition and "sticky high inflation scenario".
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