India’s April-July fiscal deficit at 86.5% of annual target

New Delhi, Aug 31: India’s budgetary fiscal deficit for April-July in the current fiscal at Rs 5.40 lakh crore touched 86.5 per cent of the full year’s target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore, official data showed on Friday.

Data furnished by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) showed that the fiscal deficit during the corresponding four months of the previous fiscal was 92.4 per cent.

According to the CGA data, net of tax revenue during the period under review was Rs 2.93 lakh crore, or 19.8 per cent of the estimated target for 2018-19. During the same period last year, it was 21 per cent of the full-year target.

The total receipts — from revenue and non-debt capital — during the initial four months of the fiscal were Rs 3.49 lakh crore, or 19.2 per cent of the estimates for the year.

The total expenditure — incurred on revenue and capital — during the April-July period was Rs 8.90 lakh crore, or 36.4 per cent of the entire fiscal’s estimate of Rs 24.42 lakh crore.

The 2018-19 deficit — the difference between revenue and expenditure — has been pegged at Rs 6.24 lakh crore, or 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product, as compared with revised estimates of Rs 5.94 lakh crore for the previous fiscal.

Rs 2,12,414 crore has been transferred to the state governments as devolution of share of taxes by the government of India up to this period, which is Rs 19,686 crore higher than the corresponding period of 2017-18, a Finance Ministry statement said while releasing the fiscal deficit data.

American credit ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service in a report this week said that higher oil prices and interest rates might put pressure on India’s fiscal and current account deficits.

While the government may cut back on capital expenditures to limit the fiscal slippage, as has happened in previous years, such cuts may not fully offset the revenue losses and higher spending on energy subsidies and price support for crops, the report said.

According to Moody’s, oil prices at current levels will raise expenditure and add to existing pressures on the fiscal position.

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