India's fiscal deficit at July- end touched 92.4 per cent of the budget mainly because of front loading of expenditure by various government departments.
India’s fiscal deficit at July- end touched 92.4 per cent of the budget mainly because of front loading of expenditure by various government departments. In absolute terms, the fiscal defict – difference between expenditure and revenue – was Rs 5.04 lakh crore during April- July, 2017-18, according to the data of Controller General of Accounts (CGA). During the same period of last financial year, 2016-17, it was 73.7 per cent of the target. For 2017-18, the government aims to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.2 per cent of the GDP. Last fiscal, it had met the deficit target of 3.5 per cent of the GDP. The government had adavanced the budget presentation and completed the process before the begining of the current financial year to encourage ministries to go ahead with their expenditure proposals from the very first month, April.
The CGA data showed that government’s revenue receipts improved at Rs 2.91 lakh crore during April-July period, which works out to be 19.2 per cent of the target of Rs 15.15 lakh crore for the whole year. In the comparable period last fiscal, revenue reciepits comprising taxes and other items were 18.6 per cent of the target. As per the CGA data, government’s expenditure had been increasing on sequential basis and totalled Rs 8.08 lakh crore at July-end or 37.7 per cent of the budget estimates.
Ministries of agriculture, consumer affairs, defence and railways witnessed increase in expending as compared to same period last year. The revenue expenditure of the government, which is difference between revenue expenditure and revenue receipts, widened to 131.2 per cent of the budget estimates, compared with 93 per cent in the April-Juyly period of the last fiscal.