FM seeks suggestions for Budget from members

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New Delhi, Feb 1: India's buoyant economic growth along with efforts to improve the tax administration system has yielded rich dividends with Central tax to GDP ratio increasing to 11.8 per cent in BE 2007-08 from 8.2 per cent in 2001-02, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said.

"This increase has provided the Central Government with additional resources which are not only being shared with State Governments but are also being utilised by the Centre for meeting expenditure in the social and infrastructure sectors and for achieving fiscal consolidation," said the Finance Minister as he briefed members about the Indian economy.

He was addressing the first meeting of the Parliamentary consultative Committee of the Finance Ministry held here under his chairmanship.

Under the estimates, gross tax revenues are budgeted at Rs 5,48,122 crore in 2007-08.

Stating that the overall macroeconomic fundamentals continue to be strong, Mr Chidambaram said tax collections had gone up at "a healthy pace" reflecting the growth potential that could be further harnessed.

While expenditure trends in FY 2007-08 encouragingly pointed towards achievement of the fiscal targets envisaged under the FRBM mandated roadmap, he hinted at further reforms in critical sectors and better implementation to ensure more efficient delivery of public services across all sections of society to see the India growth story sustained and consolidated over the Eleventh Plan period.

Suggestions were received from members at the meeting covering all sectors of the economy especially the agricultural and services sectors. The members who took part in the meeting were Jivabhai A Patel, K C Singh Baba, Prahlad Joshi, Pusp Jain, Mohammad Salim, Tukaram G Gadakh, P C Thomas, Tarit Baran Topdar, and Dr C Krishnan from the Lok Sabha and Harendra Singh Malik, Rajkumar Dhoot, A Vijayaraghavan, S M Laljan Basha, Abani Roy, Bimal Jalan, B J Panda, Rahul Bajaj and Dinesh Trivedi from the Rajya Sabha. Ministers of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam and Pawan Kumar Bansal apart from senior officers of the Ministry also attended the meeting.

UNI

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