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Sep 10, 2012 at 10:21pm IST

President Pranab Mukherjee concerned about fiscal deficit

New Delhi: Expressing concern over fiscal deficit, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said if subsidies are not contained below 2 per cent of the GDP, it may pose a serious problem for the economy.

"Fiscal deficit which is not confined to 5.1 per cent of GDP as projected in the Budget and one of the concomitant of which that we must reduce the subsidies and keep it below 2 per cent of GDP is not materialised would pose serious problems," Mukherjee said at felicitation event by CII here.

With the rising global prices of crude oil and hardening of other commodities, it is expected that fiscal deficit could breach the budget estimate for the current fiscal.

President Mukherjee concerned about fiscal deficit

Mukherjee said if subsidies are not contained below 2 per cent of the GDP, it may pose a serious problem for the economy.

The major subsidies given by the Centre are for food, fertilisers and petroleum products.

Highlighting that the current account deficit (CAD) of around 4 per cent is a matter of concern, Mukherjee said, the economic growth "has been very slow, particularly since the global financial crisis".

"2008-09, it was 6.7 per cent. 2011-12, it has recorded 6.5 per cent. The first quarter of 2012-13, it is 5.5 per cent. No doubt it is disappointing," he said.

He added that even when exports have slowed down, the diversification of xport destinations is yielding some positive results.

"For slowdown of exports from previous years from records of 30 per cent growth is no doubt an area of concerns but side by side if we look at the process of diversification of the export basket commodities and geographical direction of the export destination, you will find that the picture is not totally disappointing," he said.

Mukherjee emphasised that he had the privilege of working in difficult economic situations and overcoming them.

"High rate of inflation, slow growth, high current account deficit, high fiscal deficit and how Indian economy and system has responded to those problems and ultimately we have overcome those problems....

".... through our own efforts and own efforts collectively of Indian enterpreneurs, Indian policy makers, Indian workers, Indian farmers and over and above the new dynamic younger generation," Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee emphasised that he had the privilege of working in difficult economic situations and overcoming them.

"High rate of inflation, slow growth, high current account deficit, high fiscal deficit and how Indian economy and system has responded to those problems and ultimately we have overcome those problems....

".... through our own efforts and own efforts collectively of Indian enterpreneurs, Indian policy makers, Indian workers, Indian farmers and over and above the new dynamic younger generation," Mukherjee said.

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