FM outlines fiscal consolidation map; pro-poor programmes to remain

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Finance Minister outlines fiscal consolidation roadmap
Finance Minister P Chidambaram today outlined a fiscal consolidation roadmap, setting a fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP by 2016-17.

Outlining the details of the fiscal deficit plans Chidambaram highlighted a fiscal deficit roadmap as follows: Fiscal deficit of 5.3% for 2012-2103; 4.8% fiscal deficit for 2013-2014; 4.2% for 2014-2015; 3.6% for 2015-2016 and 3% for 2016-2017.

Despite highlighting the imperative need to maintain the deficit at lower levels, Chidambaram did emphasise that flagship programmes for the poor would remain. "All flagship programmes for relief to the poor would be protected," Chidambaram stated.

As regards the current year's fiscal deficit target which was set at 5.1%, the Finance Minister said it was challenging and rather 5.3% was doable.

"We are looking at DTC bill to be introduced after taking into account the standing committee recommendations, the current economic situation and the final bill will reflect all this. By and large we will have to abide by the standing committee recommendations." he said.

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