The government is committed to meet the fiscal deficit target of not exceeding 3.9 per cent of gross domestic product for 2015-16, although that of 3.5 per cent for 2016-17 looks ?challenging? unless the pace of revenue collection rises, a senior finance ministry official said on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the official mid-year economic analysis struck a note of caution by saying there was a case for re-assessment of the medium-term fiscal consolidation road map. This, it said, was due to additional spending due to the recommendations of the pay commission and the higher pension payout for former military personnel next year.
It is likely to, while setting 2016-17’s budget goals, estimate crude oil prices below $50 a barrel, the official added. This financial year’s budget estimate is based on $70 a barrel. The benchmark Brent crude oil contract was trading on Wednesday at $36.99 a barrel.
Low oil prices are helping push economic growth through public investment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.