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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Efforts to widen tax base, increase revenue to continue: FM

PTI  Singapore, January 23, 2013
First Published: 14:06 IST(23/1/2013) | Last Updated: 14:09 IST(23/1/2013)

Efforts to widen the tax base and increase revenues will continue, finance minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday. Wooing over 300 city-based investors on the second leg of his east Asia tour, he said India is poised to grow at over 8% from fiscal 2015-16 onwards.

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"...efforts to keep on increasing the tax base will continue ... so that the tax revenue to the proportion of the GDP will also remain robust," he was quoted as saying by Sanjiv Bhasin, general manager and CEO of DBS Bank, India.

The government, minister said, was taking steps to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the next three to four years.

Chidambaram had on Tuesday told investors in Hong Kong that he was committed to keeping fiscal deficit to 5.3% of the GDP in the current fiscal and reduce it further to 4.8% in 2013-14.

As regards growth, the minister was reported to have told investors that "India has fumbled, but so has most other economies worldwide".

The growth, Chidambaram had earlier said, was not likely to be below 5.7% in 2012-13 and would improve to about 6-7% in the next fiscal. Indian economy grew by 6.5% in 2012-13.

The minister, according to investors attending the meeting, has said that the Indian government was making efforts to put economy back on track.

In his over two-hour long interaction with investors, Chidambaram spoke on host of issues including fiscal deficit, current account deficit, expenditure management and slowing economy.

Chidambaram assured the investors that savings from subsidies would help bring down fiscal deficit, said Bhasin.

Among other things, the minister said that efforts were on to ensure that the savings rate, which was as high as 35-36% of the GDP, is raised to the same level.

Chidambaram also highlighted India's success in many fields including the Aadhar platform, and the country becoming the world’s largest rice exporter as well as substantial exporter of wheat.

He said plans were in place to spread the green revolution to other states that have not been impacted by the farm sector programmes of the government.


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