Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg (R) gesture during a press conference after presentation of interim Budget session 2019-20 at Lok Sabha, in New Delhi. (Source: PTI) 

Government Will Meet Fiscal Deficit Target Of 3.4% This Year: Subhash Chandra Garg

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg exuded confidence that the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4 percent for FY19 would be met as shortfall in indirect tax collection would be compensated by lower expenditure.

“I am very confident (of meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3.4 percent for 2018-19),” Garg said on the sidelines of IVCA conference.

The government in the interim budget FY20 revised the fiscal deficit target for the financial year ending March to 3.4 percent from 3.3 percent.

“Our assessment at this stage is, in direct taxes, we will probably do as per the revised estimate, indirect taxes, there might be some shortfall, and on the expenditure side there might be some savings. On the whole, we should be where we are,” he said.

In the current fiscal, direct tax collection is pegged at Rs 12 lakh crore (revised estimate). The government had originally budgeted to collect Rs 11.50 lakh crore in FY19 from direct taxes, which include corporate tax and personal income tax.

Likewise, in FY19, the goods and services tax collection is pegged at Rs 6.43 lakh crore (revised estimate), which is lower than the targeted Rs 7.43 lakh crore (budget estimate).

On the indirect tax front, customs collection in the current fiscal is pegged at Rs 1.30 lakh crore (revised estimate).

Fiscal deficit touched 121.5 percent of the full-year revised target of Rs 6.34 lakh crore at the end of January on account of lower revenue collection, according to recent data released by the Controller General of Accounts.

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