Fiscal situation of country to improve in 2019: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley exuded confidence on Saturday that there will be no more fiscal slippages as the financial position is likely to be comfortable from the next fiscal. "I am sure we will be able to maintain the target quite well", Jaitley said, while speaking to the media after addressing the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. In fact, at the joint press conference with Jaitley, RBI governor Urjit Patel said that prices can move either way and during the last few days, it had softened.

"As far as the fiscal situation goes, I see next year to be more comfortable as far as revenues are concerned", he told reporters.

Brushing aside any need to worry about rising global oil prices, Jaitley said an assessment should not be made based on hypothetical situations concerning crude as the trend in the last three days has been the opposite (with prices falling again).

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Patel said the monetary policy committee (MPC), which chose to keep the key rates unchanged earlier this week, has explained its reasons for the decisions it takes and the inflation targeting system that has been followed on account of legislative change. "It is just very hard..." In June a year ago, Patel pointed out, it was widely predicted that oil prices would not touch $40-$45 per barrel, and some of the advice based on that "turned out to be wrong in a major way". Patel pointed out the investors have already turned risk averse. He further added that the recapitalisation of banks will itself improve the capacity. He, however, said it will be wrong to say long-term capital gains tax will have no impact at all on Indian markets but any impact would be small and the global factors pose bigger risks. While suggesting rate cut transmission by banks has been healthy, particularly post demonetisation, Patel also pointed out credit growth is now at almost 11 percent. "I think the good thing in this cycle of high equity prices is that nearly everyone who has been part of this has talked about a possibility that this can not go on too long".

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Saturday said it is examining related party transactions and alleged corporate governance lapses in Fortis Healthcare promoted by Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi said after a board meeting of the regulatory body.

FM Jaitley said extensive discussions were also held on the impact of increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) on inflation, farmers output, pricing of farm products, among others.

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