2018-19 will be reasonably comfortable for economy: Jaitley

10 February,New Delhi

 

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said he expects the country’s fiscal situation to be ‘reasonably’ comfortable in the 2018-19 period.

“My own understanding of Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) last meeting decision is that it was balanced. As far as the fiscal situation is concerned, I see the next year to be reasonably comfortable as far as revenues are concerned. I can’t at this stage say that there would be any slippage, I am sure we will be able to maintain the target quite well,” Jaitley said at a press conference after his customary post-budget meeting with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board, here.

He added that growth can’t be projected based on hypothetical situations such as crude oil prices.

“You can’t base it on a hypothetical situation like oil prices. What has happened in the last three days is again something that nobody had predicted,” he said.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel also said it is difficult to predict oil prices and one should be prepared for two-way movement.

“In recent days, oil prices had a two-way movement. We need to be prepared for movements either way, because, it is just very difficult to predict oil prices. A few months ago, people were talking about oil prices that was going above 40 to 45 dollars. Some of the advice that came to the MPC and the RBI was based on that. And, that has turned out to be wrong in a major way,” Patel said.

He added, “There has already been a correction not only globally but in India as well. Therefore, in a way it underscores how capital markets can change in any direction. So far neither globally nor in India have we felt that this bubble could lead to a very major problem. However, as financial market regulators both RBI and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) need to be cognizant of the risks going forward. The correction in the last few days underscores that these things can move pretty quickly. I think the good thing in this cycle of high equity prices is that almost everyone who has been part of this has talked about the possibility that this can’t go on for too long. I think that is good, so that there is enough risk aversion that is endogenously built out by the investors themselves”.

Wall Street witnessed its biggest one-day decline since 2011 on February 6, when crude oil futures had an extended slump.

Wall Street stock indexes have repeatedly swung from positive to negative over the last three days, creating a ripple effect across global economies.

The Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) lost over 1,000 points while National Index’s Nifty dropped a little over 300 points in the past week, because of global volatility.

The three percent plunge in Sensex is its worst since August 2017.

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