Govt to bring down subsidy to 1.75% of GDP in 3 years

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The government on Tuesday said it proposes to bring down expenditure on subsidies towards food, oil and fertilisers to 1.75 per cent of the GDP in the next three years, from 2 per cent estimated in 2012-13.

”...would restrict the expenditure on central subsidies to under two per cent of GDP in 2012-13. Over the next three years, it would be further brought down to 1.75 per cent of GDP,” Minister of State for Finance Mr Namo Narain Meena told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply today.

Attributing fiscal slippages to revenue shortfall and high subsidies, Mr Meena said the fiscal deficit for the current fiscal has been revised to 5.9 per cent of the GDP from 4.6 per cent estimated earlier.

For 2012-13, the government proposes to bring fiscal deficit down to 5.1 per cent of the GDP and reduce outgo on major subsidies to Rs 1.79 lakh crore from Rs 2.08 lakh crore estimated in the current fiscal.

The Minister further said that the fiscal deficit of the government remained high since 2008-09 - the year the financial meltdown impacted the global economy.

Justifying the government’s decision to contain fiscal deficit, he said, “slippage in the fiscal deficit has been adding to inflationary pressure and it continues to be risk for inflation.”

He further said, “The increase in fiscal deficit could potentially crowd out credit to the private sector” and impact private investment.

The efforts, he said, were also being made to raise the tax-GDP ratio and lower expenditure to bring down fiscal deficit.

Finance Minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee in his budget proposed to raise an additional Rs 41,000 through tax proposals including 2 percentage points hike in excise and service tax.

Published on March 20, 2012

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