Govt. will stick to fiscal target this year: Jaitley

New Delhi, Dec 15: The Centre will stick to the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target in the current financial year.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that India will clock a growth rate of 7-8 per cent despite global uncertainties and will retain the tag of the world’s fastest growing major economy.

        “In course of the next few years, we intend to overtake the UK in terms of GDP and come close to Japan in terms of GDP not per capita income,” Jaitley said while addressing the annual general meeting of industry body FICCI here.

        The government has budgeted to contain fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of the GDP in the current fiscal, lower than 3.5 per cent in 2017-18.

        As per latest data, fiscal deficit in April-October period stood at 103.9 per cent of budget estimates.

         Jaitley said oil prices have a direct impact on India, since the country is a major importer. India, he said, has a particular resistance capacity to deal with rising crude oil prices and when it breaches the limit, it can impact inflation, currency and the current account deficit (CAD).

         The CAD, which is the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, widened to 2.9 per cent of GDP in the July-September quarter from 2.4 per cent of GDP in April-June.

         Listing out the challenges to the economy, Jaitley said there is a need to get out of the “syndrome of difficulties in credit” and improve the liquidity situation in the market.

         Jaitley said India cannot afford to have fragile coalitions for stable policy decisions and continue on the path of reforms.

         He said a coalition government would lead to a situation where the country probably will have a helpless Centre dependent on these kind of players.

         The minister also said that under Ayushman Bharat scheme as many as  5 lakh poor people got free medical treatment in the last two-and-a-half months.

        Jaitley said India has made good progress in rural development in the last four-and-half years.

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