The country?s fiscal deficit ended a tad lower than the estimated 6.7% in 2009-10 while the GDP grew at faster-than-estimated at 7.4% in the same fiscal, government data showed on Monday. The fiscal deficit stood at Rs 4.12 lakh crore, or roughly 6.6% of the GDP in 2009-10, as compared to a revised target of Rs 4.14 crore, according to Controller General of Accounts data.
Fiscal deficit?which is the difference between the government?s total expenditure and the revenue that it generates excluding borrowings?in the year 2008-09 was Rs 3.36 lakh crore. It widened in 2009-10 due to the cut in taxes and raised spending for economic recovery.
Measured in terms percentage of the revised estimates, the actual fiscal deficit amounted to 99.6% in 2009-10, as compared to 103.2% in 2008-09, the data showed. The two key data points of deficit and growth show a slightly better performance than projected by the government on both the counts. Actual tax revenue as a percentage of the revised estimates was higher the fiscal ended March 31, 2010 as compared to the previous fiscal. Total tax collection was at Rs 4.59 lakh crore, or 98.8% of the revised estimates in 2009-10, as compared to 95.1% in 2008-09. The tax receipts fell short of target by Rs 6,000 crore in 2009-10.
Non-tax receipts amounted to Rs 1.16 lakh crore, or 103.4% of the actual estimates in 2009-10, as compared to Rs 100.8% in 2008-09.
Total expenditure stood at Rs 10.19 lakh crore, or 99.7% of the 2009-10 revised estimates, as compared to 98.1% in 2008-09. The expenditure was slightly lower than the revised target of Rs 10.21 lakh crore in 2009-10.
The deficit has been financed largely through market borrowings of over Rs 4.01 lakh crore and about Rs 28,500 crore raised via state provident funds and national small savings fund.
The Centre?s primary deficit at Rs 2 lakh crore was a bit lower at 103.1% of the actual estimates in 2009-10 vis-a-vis 108.2% in 2008-09.
Finance secretary Ashok Chawla said on Monday that fiscal consolidation was a focus area for the government, though, the current fiscal?s borrowing is expected to remain unchanged.
The government plans to borrow a total of Rs 4.57 lakh crore in 2010-11, aiming to lower the deficit to 5.5% in the current fiscal, on the back of a lower subsidy bill and proceeds from 3G spectrum auction and disinvestment in government companies.