Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, after an economic affairs review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday evening, said that the government is satisfied with the overall macroeconomic data and assured growth within fiscal parameters.
“The government is confident that it will strictly maintain a 3.3% fiscal deficit (for 2018-19),” Jaitley told reporters after the three-hour meeting to take stock of the economy.
He affirmed the heightened optimism that the economy is poised to move into a faster lane, but steered clear of committing any measures to contain fuel prices despite growing public pressure.
“Capital expenditure has already reached 34% of the budgeted expenditure,” Jaitley said. The finance minister said the government will spend 100% of the budgeted capital expenditure by March 2019.
The central government had, on Friday, announced a slew of steps, including the removal of withholding tax on Masala bonds, curbs on non-essential imports, and relaxation for FPIs in an attempt to contain the depreciating rupee and the widening current account deficit (CAD). The measures will most likely have a positive impact to the tune of $8-10bn, a top finance ministry official said.
The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the prevailing economic issues on Friday. RBI Governor Urjit Patel and top officials of the finance ministry had apprised the PM about the present health of the economy.
Speaking to media personnel after the meeting, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the government has decided on "five steps" to contain CAD, which widened to 2.4% of GDP in Q1FY19. He also informed that several issues were discussed at the meeting, a decision on which is likely in the next few days.
-With inputs from Agencies