February 10, 2018 / 3:16 PM / 6 months ago

India will stick to fiscal deficit target: paper

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India will stick to its budgeted fiscal deficit target for the coming fiscal year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was quoted on Saturday as saying.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a delegation while speaking on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) issues during the Vibrant Gujarat investor summit in Gandhinagar, January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

Jaitley dismissed concerns that any sharp increase in global oil prices could make it difficult for the government to attain its deficit target for the next fiscal year, which starts in April, Indian daily The Economic Times reported.

“I can’t at this stage say that there would be any slippage. I am sure we will be able to maintain the target quite well,” Jaitley told a joint news conference with Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel in New Delhi.

“You can’t base it on a hypothetical situation like oil prices.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government missed its fiscal target for the first time in 2017/18 since it came to power in May 2014.

It also announced a deficit target of 3.3 percent of gross domestic product for 2018/19 - which was higher than the 3.0 percent predicted previously as slow economic growth hurt revenues.

Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Tom Lasseter and Dale Hudson

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