Government will not allow breach of fiscal deficit limits: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Jan 17 (ANI): Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has said that the fiscal consolidation roadmap for Centre has been laid out and the Government will not breach the fiscal deficit limits.

Chidambaram said this during his sixth pre-budget consultation meeting with the Finance Ministers of States and UTs (with legislature) here on Wednesday.

Highlighting the challenges that economy is facing today and the urgency of reform measures needed to address these challenges, Chidambaram also drew the attention of participants to the consequences of high fiscal deficit.

Chidambaram further said that the second major challenge that the economy faces is the high Current Account Deficit (CAD) level.

Stressing on the importance of foreign investment to ensure economic stability, Chidambaram said that foreign investment is not an option but an economic imperative.

He requested States to fast track clearances required for investment proposals. He felt that if we take concrete measures to tackle these challenges, next year would be a better year.

Chidambaram also highlighted the benefits of direct benefit transfer scheme and informed the roadmap for expansion of the pilot. He lauded the efforts of the State Governments and District administration of the pilot districts and informed that even States can use this platform for benefits given by them.

Chidambaram also informed the participants that an extensive exercise to rationalise Centrally Sponsored Schemes is on and that, in his personal opinion, all smaller schemes should be transferred to States.

He stated that the Fourteenth Finance Commission has been constituted and he hopes that Finance Commission will recognise the primacy of the Centre in the area of external and internal security and national issues and the primacy of States in development issues.

Along with the Finance Minister, both the Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam and Namo Narain Meena, Adviser to the Finance Minister, Parthasarthy Shome, Finance Secretary, R.S. Gujral, Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Sumit Bose, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Arvind Mayaram, Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Raghuram R. Rajan, were present among others.

The meeting was also attended by two Chief Ministers and a Deputy Chief Minister holding Finance portfolio, 17 Finance Ministers/ Ministers representing their Finance Ministers of States, officers of State and Central Government. (ANI)

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