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Fiscal deficit pegged at 3.9%; to reach 3% by FY18

s per the earlier roadmap fiscal consolidation, the deficit was to come down to 3 per cent by 2016-17

Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley - Photo by: Sanjay K Sharma

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today pegged fiscal deficit for 2015-16 at 3.9% of GDP and proposed to lower it to 3% by 2017-18, a year later than planned earlier.

Unveiling the roadmap for fiscal consolidation while presenting the Budget 2015-16, he said the 3% fiscal deficit target will now be achieved in three years as against the FRBM target of two years.
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As per the earlier roadmap fiscal consolidation, the deficit was to come down to 3% by 2016-17.

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act will be amendment accordingly, Jaitley said.

"The additional fiscal space will be available for infrastructure funding," he said.

As per the new roadmap, fiscal deficit will be 3.9% of GDP in 2015-16, 3.5% in 2016-17 and 3% by 2017-18.

As regard the current fiscal, Jaitley said the deficit will be 4.1% as budgeted.

"I will meet the challenging target of 4.1% of GDP which we have inherited," he said, adding that the government remains firm on its 3% fiscal deficit target.

The Economic Survey had yesterday said India must adhere to the medium term fiscal deficit target of 3% of the GDP.

As regards the Current Account Deficit (CAD), Jaitley said it will be less than 1.3% of GDP.