Key points from the Finance Minister’s briefing on Thursday.
On Fitch’s outlook:
Now after about nine months, there is acknowledgement that steps which we have taken, have delivered the outcomes…especially on fiscal consolidation and moderation of inflation.
It is not a ODI match. Watching an ODI match as I do, you expect either a wicket to fall every ball or the batman to score a sixer in every ball. That is not the way economic reforms can take place.
On gold import:
I don’t want to become too unpopular. If I have one wish which people of India can fulfil, that is: do not buy gold.
Arresting rupee fall
I don't think we need to panic about what is happening. Yes, it does put pressure on inflation. It puts pressure on the subsidy bill, especially on imported commodities. But I think rupee will find its level.
On fiscal deficit
We will achieve the revenue target and I will spend the money budgeted for. We will achieve the fiscal deficit target. 4.8 per cent appeared too ambitious when I announced it on February 28, but having done 4.9 per cent in 2012-13, 4.8 per cent is achievable. In fact, some friends have urged me to say we will do better than 4.8 per cent, but I don’t want to say that now. We will certainly achieve 4.8 per cent.
On RBI’s rate cuts
I have called the Chairpersons of public sector banks towards the end of this month and (will) have a chat on this issue. We will talk to the banks. I think they are cautious. Caution is good, but you can’t be over-cautious.
On Govt’s image
What’s wrong with the political image? Compared with the political image of some of our friends, I think our political image is quite shining.