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The scope of a panel, set up to review the working of FRBM Act, has now been expanded to examine the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission as also of the Expenditure Management Commission (EMC) while giving its report on targetting fiscal deficit. Sources said however that the 5-member committee, under former revenue secretary N K Singh, has not sought extension for submission of its report.
The committee has been given time till October 31 to submit its report. The panel has been given additional terms of reference including recommendation of 14 Finance Commission on fiscal deficit target, sources said. Besides, additional terms of reference for FRBM panel include suggestions from EMC, headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan. Singh also said that the panel has received additional terms of reference. The other members of the panel, which was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech, include former finance secretary Sumit Bose, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, and NIPFP Director Rathin Roy. Among other things, the committee is examining the need and feasibility of having a 'fiscal deficit range' as the target in place of the existing fixed numbers (percentage of GDP) as the goal. The committee is reviewing the working of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act over last 12 years and suggest the way forward "keeping in view the broad objective of fiscal consolidation and prudence and the changes required in the context of the uncertainty and volatility in the global economy". While announcing the intention of the government to set up a committee to examine the FRBM Act, Jaitley in his Budget speech in February had said "there is a school of thought which believes that instead of fixed numbers as fiscal deficit targets, it may be better to have a fiscal deficit range as the target, which would give necessary policy space to the government to deal with dynamic situations".
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