Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg Friday exuded confidence that fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent for 2018-19 would be met as shortfall in indirect tax collection would be compensated by lower expenditure. "I am very confident (of meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent for 2018-19)," Garg said on the sidelines of IVCA conference here.
As per the interim Budget 2019-20, the government has pegged fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent for the current fiscal year ending March 31.
"Our assessment at this stage is, in direct taxes, we will probably do as per the revised estimate, in indirect taxes, there might be some shortfall, and on the expenditure side there might be some savings.
"On the whole, we should be where we are," he said.
Garg also said India cannot grow at 7-8 per cent without the growth of private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) industry.
He noted that the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is still reluctant to have larger exposure in equity market. Replying to a question, Garg said India is a capital deficit country and very soon, the government will monetise more and more assets.
Recently, Adani Group emerged as the highest bidder to operate all the six state-run airports put up for privatisation by the Centre.
On angel tax controversy, Garg said the challenge for the policy makers is to ensure that genuine startups do not suffer.
In the current fiscal, direct tax collection is pegged at Rs 12 lakh crore (revised estimate).
The government had originally budgeted to collect Rs 11.50 lakh crore in 2018-19 from direct taxes, which include corporate tax and personal income tax.
Likewise, in 2018-19, GST collection is pegged at Rs 6.43 lakh crore (RE), which is lower than the targeted Rs 7.43 lakh crore (BE).
On the indirect tax front, customs collection in the current fiscal is pegged at Rs 1.30 lakh crore (RE).
Fiscal deficit touched 121.5 per cent of the full-year revised target of Rs 6.34 lakh crore at the end of January on account of lower revenue collection, according to recent data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).