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Fiscal deficit figures absolutely realistic: Nirmala Sitharaman

Bengaluru: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday defended the fiscal deficit figures in the union budget and termed it as "absolutely realistic".

"I think this budgetwe have been absolutely realistic both on the score of revenue generation and on the score of what we can spend or borrow, so figures therefore are absolutely realistic keeping in mind the economy and also that is why we were able to give path," she told a press conference here.

She said: "...we have given a realistic picture, we have been able to give a figure of 3.5 (fiscal deficit target) for the coming fiscal."

On inflation management, the Minister said except for the seasonal perishable commodities which make up for significant size in the basket, except for seasonal fluctuation, prices of most goods and also particularly food products have been kept well within the acceptable norms, "so we are hopeful".

To a question on Yes Bank allegedly facing stress, she said, "Reserve Bank is the regulator of Banks..I'm not naming any particular bank, I'm sure Reserve Bank is playing its role as regulator- monitoring and taking care of banks."

Sitharaman, in response to a question, said there has been lot of curiosity about 'Vivad se Vishwas' scheme (announced in the budget to settle disputed cases between the Income Tax Department and taxpayers) and people were seeking more clarification on that and in a day or two the department of revenue will be able to give out the information.

On "people losing faith" in cooperative banks and recent RBI notice imposing restrictions on one such bank here, she said the government had shown concrete action in the latest budget by increasing the deposit insurance from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

"... (this) has not been done for decades... also we have brought in a bill to amend banking regulation act to include cooperatives," she added.

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