Finance minister Arun Jaitley. File photo: Mint
Finance minister Arun Jaitley. File photo: Mint

Budget 2017: Arun Jaitley says decision on FRBM review panel report in due course

Jaitley in his Budget speech said the FRBM review panel has provided for 'escape clauses', for deviations up to 0.5% of GDP, from the stipulated fiscal deficit target

New Delhi: The report of the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) review panel, headed by former revenue secretary N.K. Singh, will be carefully examined and appropriate decisions will be taken in due course, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.

“The report of the committee will be carefully examined and appropriate decisions taken in due course," Jaitley said in his Budget 2017-18 speech. The committee had recommended debt-to-GDP ratio of 60% by 2023 and fiscal deficit at 3% for next three years.

Jaitley said the committee has also provided for ‘Escape Clauses’, for deviations up to 0.5% of GDP, from the stipulated fiscal deficit target.

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“Among the triggers for taking recourse to these Escape Clauses, the committee has included ‘far-reaching structural reforms in the economy with unanticipated fiscal implications’ as one of the factors," he said.

Although there is a strong case now to invoke this Escape Clause, Jaitley said, “I am refraining from doing so."

“Nevertheless, I take note of the fiscal deficit roadmap of 3% recommended by the committee for the next three years," the minister added.

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Jaitley said that considering all these aspects, he has pegged the fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at 3.2% of GDP (gross domestic product) and remain committed to achieve 3% in the following year. “With this gradual approach, I have ensured adherence to fiscal consolidation, without compromising the requirements of public investment," he pointed out.

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