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Current account deficit to be around $60 bn: Chidambaram

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Current account deficit to be around $60 bn: Chidambaram
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New Delhi: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday said India's current account deficit (CAD) would come down and be around $60 billion owing to rising exports and import controls initiated by the government.

"The current account deficit is well under control. I'm confident we will be able to adhere to the red line for fiscal deficit,” Chidambaram said at a press conference here.

“In recent weeks, we see signs that steps and measures we have taken are beginning to yield results."

CAD which is the difference between dollar inflow and outflow has been a matter of concern for the government.

The CAD stood at a record high of 4.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at $88.2 billion in the last fiscal.

The government is trying to rein in CAD by imposing higher duties on gold and cutting down on non-essential import items.

The finance minister has set a target of below $70 billion or 3.8 percent of the GDP of CAD this fiscal.

According to the minister, trade deficit in the period between April and September stood at $80 billion -- down from $92 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

On the other hand, the finance minister said challenges like high inflation levels and reviving the investment sentiment in a sluggish economy still remain.

“Inflation is still a challenge and reviving investment,” Chidambaram said, adding that he sees green shoots emerging in the investment scenario.

“We are confident that the steps taken by RBI will bring about a moderation in inflation."

Chidambaram also asked the industry to invest back in the economy and that the government will expedite the clearance process.

“Indian industry must now not any longer sit on idle cash but start investing,” Chidambaram said.

“In six months, 99 projects have been cleared worth Rs.3.68 lakh crore by the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI).”

Chidambaram added that he looked forward to attracting more foreign investments in pharmaceutical, telecom, and single- and multi-brand retail sectors.

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