Fiscal deficit at 24.7% of Budget estimate

Written by Economy Bureau | New Delhi, May 30 | Updated: Jun 1 2008, 02:48am hrs
The Centres fiscal deficit in April 2008 shot up to 24.7% of the full fiscal target as compared with a mere 18.4% of the Budget Estimate (BE) a year ago, mainly on account of much higher plan expenditure. Fiscal deficit has risen to Rs 32,939 crore, according to official figures released on Friday.

The revenue deficit too has risen to 55.2% of the full fiscal target to Rs 30,482 crore in April 2008, as compared with 36.3% of the BE in April 2007.

Meanwhile, primary deficit has dropped to 36% of the BE to amount to Rs 20,685 crore.

The April figures, indicating a higher burden on the exchequer, come soon after the Reserve Bank of Indias governor YV Reddy pointed out that while the countrys fiscal situation has shown improvement, the deficit numbers for 2007-08 do not reflect the several underlying fiscal pressures.

While the governments total expenditure in April 2008, has risen marginally to Rs 46,333 crore to 6.2% of the BE as compared with 5.3% of the BE a year ago, there has been a marked rise in its plan expenditure. Plan expenditure, which is mainly the governments allocation to various schemes, rose to Rs 17,165 crore or 7.1% of the full fiscal target in April this year. The Centre in April 2007 had spent only Rs 9,006 crore as plan expenditure.

Incidentally, the government has also used more than a quarter of its domestic financing in the first month of the fiscal. Domestic borrowing rose to 27% of the BE to Rs 32,528.46 crore during the month. However, non-plan expenditure in April 2008 remained stagnant at Rs 29,168 crore, 5.7% of the BE.

Meanwhile, the Centres revenue receipts are also marginally higher at Rs 13,298 crore, which is 2.2% of the BE. In April 2007, revenue receipts stood at 1.7% of the full year target. Tax revenues has also risen to 2.2% of the BE to total Rs 10,963 crore in the month under review. Non-tax revenue is however slightly lower at Rs 2,335 crore or 2.4% of the full year target. It amounted to 3.25 of the BE in April 2007.