Delhi: The Lok Sabha has passed the Fiscal Responsibility
and Management Bill that seeks to put a legislative mandate
on the government to eliminate revenue deficit by 2007-08
and to subsequently build a revenue surplus. The Bill
was passed by a voice vote.
Bill was a diluted version of the original one introduced
in year 2000 that had sought to eliminate revenue deficit
by 2005-06. The dilution was on account of the adoption
of the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee
that had studied the earlier Bill.
Replying to the discussion in
the House, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh said the legislation
will not bring about fiscal discipline unless there is
self-discipline of all including the centre and states.
central government''s total liabilities have reached a
high level of Rs 18 lakh crore on which an annual interest
liability stood at Rs 1.23 lakh crore, which was 50 per
cent of India''s annual revenue earnings, Singh pointed
Bill also provides for greater transparency in fiscal
operations, quarterly review of fiscal situation and regulating
direct borrowing from the Reserve Bank of India in a bid
to check borrowing and control expenditure to effect fiscal