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Saturday, January 30, 2016

FM can let fiscal deficit target slip: Experts

An economic poll has said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley can get away with letting his borrowing targets slip when he presents his annual budget next month. As per reports, half the 30 economists surveyed also said the most pressing priority for Jaitley's third budget was to invest in infrastructure - endorsing the pro-growth course he set a year ago. A poll conducted before last year's budget also highlighted growth as the top priority, while a slim majority saw the Government meeting high hopes for economic reforms. Commenting on the issue, Deloitte economist Rishi Shah told the media, "We'll take a longer route to consolidation; otherwise the economy would be negatively affected." According to the poll, the consensus view was for the 2016/17 fiscal deficit to be raised to 3.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) from a previous goal of 3.5 per cent. Gross borrowing is predicted at 6.49 trillion rupees (USD 95.2 billion).