Fiscal deficit at 63% of budget estimates in April-July period

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SummaryIn signs of fiscal stress, the government crossed nearly two-thirds of the deficit target for the current financial year in the first four months.

In signs of fiscal stress, the government crossed nearly two-thirds of the deficit target for the current financial year in the first four months.

The fiscal deficit, which is the difference between government receipts and spending, touched R3.4 lakh crore in April-July, or 62.8% of the budget estimate.

The fiscal deficit had reached 51.51% of the budget estimate in the April-July period of 2012-13, government data showed on Friday.

The deficit so far is without accounting for a substantial portion of food and oil subsidies, which are likely to exceed budget estimates following the enactment of the Food Security Law and an oil import bill that's shooting up because of an over 20% rupee depreciation.

While the government has provided for R90,000 crore as food subsidy in the Budget, the actual outgo may be close to R1.13 lakh crore. Similarly, the subsidy on diesel and cooking fuel may be double the provision of R20,000 crore.

Net tax receipts for the first four months of the fiscal year touched R1.45 lakh crore, while total expenditure was R5.21 lakh crore.

The fiscal deficit during 2012-13 came down to 4.9% of GDP from 5.8% a year earlier. In the current financial year, the government plans to lower the deficit to 4.8% of GDP.

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