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Interim Budget 2019: Piyush Goyal says govt did not make adjustments, presented true figures

Interim Budget 2019: Piyush Goyal says govt did not make adjustments, presented true figures

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said Friday the government wanted to give a true picture of the accounts in the Budget and did not resort to any "adjustment" for misrepresenting the fiscal slippage.

The comments come in the backdrop of concerns raised from various quarters, including global rating agencies, about the government's move to up spending in a way that it slipped on the 3.3% deficit target for Fiscal Year 19 and also went for a wider 3.4% in Fiscal Year 20.

Speaking at a post-budget consultation with the industry, Goyal also said rounding-off of decimals is resulting in the slippage, pointing out that the deficit will come at 3.367 %, while the same for Fiscal Year 20 is 3.349% that gets rounded off to 3.4%.

Beyond the optics, Goyal said it was the government's commitment to transparency which resulted in the actual statement of accounts and recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also advised the same in pre-budget discussions.

"If I wanted to, this required only an adjustment of Rs 5,017 crore in a budget of Rs 25 lakh crore for achieving the fiscal deficit target," he said.

Similarly, an adjustment of Rs 1,250 crore would have taken the Fiscal Year 20 fiscal deficit number to 3.3%, he said.

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