Government will again miss fiscal deficit target: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Claiming that the Narendra Modi government’s efforts during its remaining tenure cannot revive the “perilous condition” of the Indian economy, former Union Minister and Congress veteran P. Chidambaram on Friday said the Centre might not able to achieve its set fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent.

“Nothing the Modi government does in the next 60 days will alter the status of the economy. The state of economy is quite perilous, every indicator is worrisome and nothing this government will do in the next 60 days can change that,” Chidambaram told the media here.

Pointing to a shortfall in GST and direct tax collections, Chidambaram said the government will find it difficult to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Their GST collection is falling short of the target, net direct tax collection is also falling short of the budget estimates. Last year (2017-18) they missed the fiscal deficit target by 0.3 per cent. As against 3.2 per cent, they achieved 3.5 per cent. This is year also they will miss the target of 3.3 per cent,” he said.

About speculations that the Modi government may announce sops for farmers ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Chidambaram said: “It is now an open secret. Having done nothing in the last four-and-half years, they will have to do something for the sake of votes. They will try to dole out money which they don’t have,” said Chidambaram questioning where the government will get the funds from for its planned sops.

–IANS

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