April fiscal deficit crosses 25% mark at Rs 1.37 lakh crore

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) India’s fiscal deficit in April crossed the quarter-way mark at 25.7 per cent of the annual target, even as tax revenue was at 1.6 per cent of the estimate, as per the latest official data of the central government accounts released on Tuesday.

While the fiscal deficit target for 2016-17 has been pegged at 3.5 percent of GDP, or at Rs 5.33 lakh crore, as per the Controller General of Accounts, the fiscal deficit in April came in at Rs 1.37 lakh crore, which is 25.7 per cent of the Budget estimate (BE) for the full fiscal.

The fiscal deficit represents the total expenditure, minus the total receipts. The deficit in April last year was 23 per cent of the BE.

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Tax revenue during the period in consideration was Rs 22,075 crore, or 1.6 per cent of the estimate.

The total receipts during the period under review has been Rs 24,659 crore.

The CGA data revealed that the total expenditure (plan and non-plan) during April stood at Rs 1.61 lakh crore, or 8.2 per cent of the full-year estimate.

Furthermore, the data disclosed that the revenue deficit during the period under review stood at Rs 1,19,075 crore, or 33.6 per cent.

The government said last month that it had achieved both the fiscal deficit and divestment targets for 2015-16.

“Government has achieved fiscal deficit targets for FY 2015-16. The disinvestment target of Rs 25,000 crore for 2015-16 has also been achieved,” said the finance ministry statement, adding that the government remains committed to the path of fiscal consolidation.

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In the budget for the current fiscal presented in February, the government had estimated the fiscal deficit for 2015-16 at Rs.5.35 lakh crore, or 3.9 percent of GDP.

The finance ministry statement said the revenue expenditure target for fiscal 2015-16 is also expected to be fully met.

The fiscal deficit for financial year 2015-16 had already crossed 107.1 percent of the estimates in the first 11 months of the year at Rs.5.73 lakh crore.

On Tuesday, when India’s GDP figures for the last fiscal were also released, the government expressed satisfaction over the numbers.

“Fiscal deficit of 3.9% bang on target. Revenue deficit of 2.5% better than 2.9% in 14-15. Effective budget and fiscal management by government,” tweeted Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

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“FY 15-16 fiscal and macro economic parameters are very robust. GDP growth 7.6% fiscal deficit 3.9% and revenue deficit 2.5%,” he said in another tweet.



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