Govt to contain fiscal deficit below budget estimates: FM

Govt to contain fiscal deficit below budget estimates: FM
New Delhi, July 1 (PTI) As the fiscal deficit in first two months touched about 55 per cent of the budget estimates for the year, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the government would contain the deficit below its budget estimates of 2.5 per cent of GDP for the year.

"At the end of the year, we will do better than the budget estimates," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters when asked about sharp rise in fiscal deficit in April-May as per the figures released by the Comptroller General of Accounts on Monday.

The fiscal deficit for two months touched Rs 73,201 crore, 54.9 per cent of estimated fiscal deficit of Rs 1,33,287 crore for the fiscal, mainly on account of rising oil import bill.

Meanwhile, revenue deficit stood at Rs 67,731 crore, against the budget estimates of Rs 55,184 crore for the year.

According to budget estimates, fiscal deficit is expected to come down to 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the current fiscal year from 2.8 per cent in the previous year.

Earlier, at the Diamond Jubliee function of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Chidambaram said tax-to GDP ratio was expected to touch 13 per cent in 2008-09, compared to 9.2 per cent in 2003-04 and 12.8 per cent last fiscal.

Appreciating the contribution of national accounting body in tax reforms, he said those who violate tax laws would be prosecuted.

He also said the government was committed to implement the Goods and Service Tax with effect from April 1, 2010.

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