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A fairly routine Budget, says former RBI Governor C Rangarajan

New Delhi: Describing the Union Budget for 2017-18 as "a fairly routine Budget", former RBI Governor C Rangarajan on Wednesday said changing the road map to reach the fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent over the year will make a mockery of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.

File photo of former RBI Governor C Rangarajan. Reuters

File photo of former RBI Governor C Rangarajan. Reuters

"It was a fairly routine Budget... in the sense that there have not been much changes on the revenue side. Nevertheless, I am happy that the fiscal deficit is maintained at 3.2 percent. The original road map has set it at 3 percent," Rangarajan told CNBC TV18.

"But given the need for expenditure, I suppose some modification on that is okay. I must emphasise the point that changing the road map for reaching the 3 percent fiscal deficit target over the years will make a mockery of the FRBM Act."

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed bringing down fiscal deficit to 3.2 percent of GDP in 2017-18 from 3.5 percent in 2016-17. "... I have pegged fiscal deficit at 3.2 percent in 2017-18 and remain committed to achieve 3 percent in the following year. With this gradual approach, I have ensured adherence to fiscal consolidation without compromising requirements of public expenditure," Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

Revenue deficit will be reduced to 2.1 percent in 2017-18, from 2.3 percent in 2016-17, the finance minister said. Net market borrowing will be Rs 3.48 lakh crore in 2017-18, from 4.1 percent in the current fiscal, he said.

Published Date: Feb 01, 2017 14:24 PM | Updated Date: Feb 01, 2017 14:28 PM

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