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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Divestment: Govt confident of raising Rs 25K-30K cr

Divestment: Govt confident of raising Rs 25K-30K cr

September 28, 2012 20:36 IST
The government on Friday exuded confidence that it will be able to raise Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment and will remain very close to the fiscal deficit target of 5.1 per cent of the GDP in 2012-13.

"There is now a decision for disinvestment in several PSUs. Some more are under consideration. And, therefore, we believe that we could net about Rs 25,000-30,000 crore from that itself.

"Then there is spectrum auction, which is on stream. We have a target of Rs 40,000 crore," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said.

He said the government would take steps to curb wasteful expenditures and plug leakages in implementation of schemes.

"Wasteful expenditure, if any, will be strongly curbed and, therefore, I am confident that we will be able to come pretty close to our fiscal deficit target... We are cognizant of the fact that there could be a possibility (of wasteful expenditure)... we will be watchful," he said.

The fiscal deficit in the April-August period rose to Rs 3.38 lakh crore or 65.7 per cent of the budgeted target for the full fiscal. The government had budgeted fiscal deficit at 5.1 per cent of GDP.

"We are expecting that we will be able to come very close to our fiscal target if we are prudent in our expenditure where all important critical expenditure commitment will be fully met," Mayaram said.

Mayaram's comments come in wake of Vijay Kelkar Committee report which has pegged the receipt from disinvestment in the current fiscal at Rs 10,000 crore as against the budgeted target of Rs 30,000 crore.

"It would be extremely difficult for the government to move ahead with its disinvestment programme, given the subdued equity market conditions. In our assessment, a conservative estimate for disinvestment receipts, if no policy interventions are made, would stand at around Rs 10,000 crore," said the report.

With five months of the fiscal already over, the government is yet to come out with stake sale offers of any PSU.

The Kelkar committee has said that the fiscal deficit in 2012-13 is likely to be 6.1 per cent as against the budget estimate of 5.1 per cent, in absence of "proactive policy actions", like reducing subsidy.

To contain the subsidy bill, the government had earlier this month raised diesel prices by over Rs 5 a litre and capped the number of subsidised LPG cylinders at 6 per year per family.

The Kelkar panel in its report has said that the subsidy bill could touch 2.6 per cent of GDP, higher than budgeted 1.9 per cent, if no steps are taken.

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