Fiscal deficit at 63.8% of budget target in Apr-Nov

Written by Agencies | New Delhi, December 31: | Updated: Jan 1 2008, 01:18am hrs
The Centre seems on track to meet the fiscal deficit target for 2007-08 with the gap between total spending and total revenue during April-November making up slightly less than two-third of the budgeted amount.

Fiscal deficit during April-November period stood at Rs 96,274 crore, 63.8 per cent of the annual target of Rs 1,50,948 crore or 3.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

In comparison, fiscal deficit during April-November 2006-07 was 72.8 per cent of that year's budget estimate.

Total government expenditure stood at Rs 4,11,375 crore while receipts were Rs 3,15,101 crore until November 2007, according to data released by Controller General of Accounts.

The total spending so far this fiscal worked out to be 60.5 per cent, slightly higher than 59.7 per cent recorded during the corresponding period last year.

Total receipts are 59.5 per cent of the budget estimate as compared to 55 per cent during April-November 2006.

Revenue deficit rose to Rs 69,974 crore or 97.9 per cent of the budget estimate as against 99.7 per cent during the same period in the last financial year, it said.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram has previously said the government would be able to cut fiscal deficit to 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2007-08 from 3.5 per cent a year ago. He has said that despite massive increase in funding on social sector projects, fiscal deficit targets would be met. Government has maintained that strong growth in direct tax collections will offset additional spending in this fiscal.

The improvement has been mainly on account of buoyancy in revenue realisation, which during April-November 2007 at around Rs 2,75,00 crore worked out to be 56.5 per cent of the budget target, according to the official data.