No need to revise fiscal deficit target: Pranab

July 5th, 2011 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) The government will stick to its fiscal deficit targets despite loss of revenue due to reduction in levies on petroleum products following the recent hike in prices, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Tuesday.

“I don’t think so. Still we are trying to keep the target,” Mukherjee told reporters when asked whether the government planned to revise fiscal deficit targets due to increased expenditure and loss of revenue due to reduction in excise duties on petroleum products.

India targets reducing fiscal deficit to 4.6 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the current fiscal from 5.1 percent in the previous year.

The finance minister said he was hopeful of achieving the fiscal deficit target announced in the Union budget in February.

“There has to be a balance between receipts and expenditure. Just now we need not rush to any conclusion,” Mukherjee said.

In a bid to reduce the impact of hike in the prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG on the common people, the government recently cut import duties on petroleum products by 5 percent. It also reduced excise duties on diesel to Rs.2 per litre from the earlier Rs.4.6 a litre.

Cut in duties on petroleum products is likely to result in a revenue loss of nearly Rs.4,900 crore.

To control the rising losses of the state-run oil marketing companies, the government recently hiked diesel, kerosene and cooking gas prices by Rs.3 per litre, Rs.2 per litre and Rs.50 per cylinder, respectively. Following the hike, the government cut the duties on these products to reduce the impact on the common people.

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