April-Oct fiscal deficit touches 84% of FY14 target

New Delhi | Updated: Nov 30 2013, 05:41am hrs
India's April-October fiscal deficit stood at Rs 4.58 lakh crore, or 84.4% of the FY14 budget estimates of Rs 5.42 lakh crore, on the back of higher expenditures and lower receipts. For the April-October 2012, the fiscal deficit was Rs 3.68 lakh crore, 71.6% of the FY13 target.

The total expenditure for the April-October period was Rs 9.22 lakh crore, about 55.4% of the budget estimates of Rs 16.65 lakh crore, compared to 52.3% for the same period last year. Especially steep was the plan expenditure, which stood at 48.3% of FY14 target, compared to 43.2% last year.

The total receipts for the seven-month period were Rs 4.64 lakh crore, about 41.3% of the full year target, compared to 42.1% last year. The biggest fall compared to April-October 2012 was in non-debt capital receipts, a heading which includes disinvestment. Non-debt capital receipts were at 12.2% of the full year target, compared to 17.4% last year.

Finance minister P Chidambaram has repeatedly emphasized that the fiscal deficit will be contained at Rs 5.42 lakh crore, or 4.8% of FY14 gross domestic product (GDP). The government is looking at a number of options to meet what policymakers call a very tight target. While about Rs 1.17 lakh crore in food, fertilizer and fuel subsidies is expected to be left unpaid this year, officials are also contemplating steep cut in plan expenditure.

Despite hurdles, the Centre still hopes to rake in Rs 54,000 crore from disinvestment of its stake in firms such as Coal India, IOC.