April-Dec. fiscal deficit at 112.4% of budget target

The fiscal deficit for the period April-December 2018 has touched 112.4% of the budget target of Rs. 6.24 lakh crore for the financial year 2018-19, data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) showed. Marginally better In absolute figures, the fiscal deficit was at Rs. 7.01 lakh crore during April-December of this financial year. The situation, however, is marginally better than last year, where the fiscal deficit at the end of December 2017 was 113.6% of that year’s budget estimate. It should be noted, though, that the fiscal deficit came in at 3.5% for 2017-18 against a target of 3.2%. In the Interim Budget, the government said it would be missing its fiscal deficit target of 3.3% for this year as well. The fiscal deficit is expected to come in at 3.4%. “Fiscal deficit in the first nine months of FY19 came in at 112.4% of FY19 (BE) and 110.6% of FY19 (RE),” Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings and Research, said. “The pressure is more visible on the revenue side rather than on the expenditure side.” According to Mr. Pant, in order to meet the revised target for FY19, monthly revenue receipts in the last three months of the financial year would have to be 1.8 times the average monthly collections in the first nine months, which, he said, appeared difficult to achieve. The CGA data shows that the government’s revenue receipts stood at Rs. 10.84 lakh crore in the April-December period, which works out to 62.8% of the Rs. 17.25 lakh crore budgeted for the year. However, the total amount expected for the year was revised upwards recently to Rs. 17.29 trillion, which means the April-Dec. collections make up a marginally lower 62.7% of the revised figure. On the expenditure side, data shows that the total expenditure of the government at the end of December stood at Rs. 18.32 lakh crore, which is 75% of the budget estimate and 74.5% of the revised estimate.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/april-dec-fiscal-deficit-at-1124-of-budget-target/article26179578.ece

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