Fiscal deficit touched 82.6 per cent of the Budget Estimates for 2014-15 to cross Rs 4.38 lakh crore at the end of September.
During the same period of the 2013-14 fiscal, the deficit was at 76 per cent of the Budget Estimates (BE).
Net tax receipts in the first half of the fiscal stood at Rs 3.23 lakh crore, or 33.1 per cent of BE, the data released by the Controller General of Accounts today showed.
Total expenditure of the government during April- September was over Rs 8.62 lakh crore or 48 per cent of the estimates for the entire 2014-15 fiscal.
Of the total expenditure, Plan spending was at over Rs 2.46 lakh crore. Under non-plan head, it was Rs 6.15 lakh crore.
Revenue collection was over Rs 4.17 lakh crore or 35.1 per cent of the BE for the period.
Total receipts (from revenue and non-debt capital) of the government during the six months was over Rs 4.23 lakh crore.
The data showed that the revenue deficit during the period was over Rs 3.45 lakh crore or 91.2 per cent of the full year target.
The fiscal deficit was over Rs 5.08 lakh crore or 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2013-14. It was 4.9 per cent in 2012-13.
For entire 2014-15, fiscal deficit – gap between government expenditure and revenue – has been pegged at Rs 5.31 lakh crore or 4.1 per cent of GDP.
To reduce the fiscal deficit to the 7-year low level, the government had yesterday announced a slew of austerity measures aimed at cutting non-plan spending by 10 per cent.
As per the measures, the government has banned first class air travel for bureaucrats, meetings in five-star hotels and purchase of cars. It also decided to freeze new appointments.
“Such measures are intended at promoting fiscal discipline, without restricting the operational efficiency of the government,” a finance ministry statement said.
The government had put in place a fiscal consolidation roadmap as per which the fiscal deficit has to be brought down to 3 per cent of the GDP by 2016-17.