India’s Apr-Sep 2019 fiscal deficit (half-yearly) reaches 92.6% of FY20 target

India’s fiscal deficit touched nearly 93 per cent of the budget estimate at Rs 6.52 lakh crore during April-September period of the current financial year, according to latest government data. The fiscal deficit amounts to 92.6 per cent of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year.

In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit, the gap between expenditure and revenue, stood at Rs 6,51,554 crore as on September 30, 2019. The government had kept the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year at Rs 7.03 lakh crore, which is equivalent to 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

In a bid to boost economic growth from its 5 per cent level in the April-June quarter, the government has let go of revenues to the tune of Rs 1.45 lakh crore by announcing cuts in corporate tax in September.

During April-September period, total spending stood at Rs 14.89 lakh crore while the total receipts were at Rs 8.37 lakh crore.

While net tax receipts were Rs 6.07 lakh crore, the non-tax revenue stood at Rs 2.09 lakh crore for the same period, the data showed. The revenue deficit was at Rs 4.85 lakh crore.

The government has pegged its total expenditure for the financial year 2019-20 at Rs 27.86 lakh crore, while the revenue receipts have been kept at Rs 19.62 lakh crore.

As per Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data, revenue receipts during the April-September 2019-20 period rose to 41.6 per cent of the budget estimate compared to 40.1 per cent in the corresponding period last year. The capital expenditure stood at 55.5 per cent of the budget estimate as against 54.2 per cent in the year-ago period, the data showed.

According to CGA, its data was impacted by temporal mismatch between flow of non-debt receipts and expenditure up to that month on account of various transitional factors both on receipt and expenditure side, which may get substantially offset by the end of the financial year.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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