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Economy Dec 6, 2012

Parl panel to govt: take specific measures to curb fiscal deficit

New Delhi: Terming the government's approach to deal with worsening fiscal situation as "lackadaisical", a Parliamentary Committee today pressed for specific measures to bridge the difference between expenditure and revenue.

"The Committee cannot but deplore the lackadaisical approach of the government towards achieving fiscal deficit target. "The Committee would strongly recommend that the government must take specific measures with reference to sectors/schemes to contain the deficit," said the report of Standing Committee on Finance, headed by senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha.

The Committee sought the views of the government on the possibility of rating of Ministries based on their overall performance. Reuters

The report, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha today, said the government's reply on steps being taken to contain fiscal deficit are "illusive on specific details". The Committee also noted with concern that the fiscal deficit in 2012-13 was likely to be 5.3 percent, as against 5.1 percent envisaged in the Budget.

Referring to the government's repeated allocation and surrender of funds by Security Printing and Minting
Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL), it said, "Ministry should avoid tokenism in provisioning of funds and pre-mature allocations without approval of schemes."

It also advised the Finance Ministry to set up expert group to rationalise the existing demands of Ministries and departments with regard to Central assistance schemes, block grants and state planned schemes.

The Committee sought the views of the government on the possibility of rating of Ministries based on their overall performance with regard to timely utilisation of budget funds.

PTI

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