Current account deficit pegged at 3.5% this fiscal: C Rangarajan

Account deficit

Government has pegged that the current account deficit during this fiscal to be at 3.5 per cent of the GDP, much higher than the expected levels, and there was need to bring it down at "moderate levels", Prime Minister's Economic Advisor Council Chairman Dr C Rangarajan has said.

Noting that the country was moving on a "difficult phase" on its economic growth, Rangarajan said one of the tools that was required to bring the economy back on the growth trajectory was to bring down the current account deficit.

"The current account deficit is remaining at high level and we should work towards getting the current account deficit to more moderate levels. We should aim at the current account deficit of 2.5 per cent of the GDP down from the current 4.5 per cent. But in the current year, perhaps, the current account deficit may be around 3.5 per cent of the GDP", he told reporters late last night at the sidelines of a function. Besides moderating the current account deficit, the former Reserve Bank Governor said the country was required to address some major macro-economic concerns like "taming the inflation" and addressing "fiscal deficit".

"In order to get back to the high level of growth, we need to address some major macro economic concerns -- first is to tame inflation. We had three years of high inflation. We need to bring it down to more comfortable levels. Second, the

process of fiscal consolidation must continue and we should work towards getting the fiscal deficit down to three per cent of the GDP over the next five years. Finance Minister P Chidambaram has already outlined the map for fiscal consolidation. We should adhere to it", he said.

On the Government decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, Rangarajan said "I think the government has taken a decision and it is trying to build a consensus on that. In democracy, there is always be some dissent (RPT) dissent. But it is a question of achieving the highest degree of consensus", he said, adding, in the long run it is "good" for the country

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