New Delhi: Despite economic slowdown and stumbling industrial output, the Centre has been unable to announce a stimulus package to the industries due to its own battered financial condition.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “The fiscal deficit is likely to deepen during the current financial year. The Government is not in position to provide second stimulus package in combating the global meltdown. The Centre had rolled out a stimulus package of about Rs.1.86 lakh crore, or 3 percent of the GDP, to provide a cushion to the domestic industry against external shocks.”

The government is unlikely to meet the revenue target due to lower collection of tax revenue and non tax revenue. The government’s fuel subsidy amount is mounting due to skyrocketing crude oil price. Therefore, the fiscal deficit might cross the 4.6 percent target.

Mukhrjee accepted, “The inflation and strict monetary policy are adversely affecting the growth rate and investment. The slow pace of growth rate in industrial sector is matter of serious concern which affects the employment opportunities.”

India’s GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal is 7.5 percent against 8.5 percent in previous year.

The Reserve Bank of India is going to review the monetary policy on Friday. It has revised the interest rates 17 times since 2010 to check inflation.

JPN/Bureau