Fiscal status check: Deficit may soar to 9.5% this FY, hits two-thirds of revised full-year forecast

India’s fiscal deficit stood at 66.8 per cent of the revised Budget estimates for the current fiscal, as of end of January 2021

India’s fiscal deficit stood at 66.8 per cent of the revised Budget estimates for the current fiscal, as of end of January 2021, according to the data by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). In absolute terms, the difference between government’s revenue and expenditure stood at Rs 12.34 lakh crore. To factor in the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the government more than doubled the entire year’s target to Rs 18.48 lakh crore, or 9.5 per cent of estimated GDP, from Rs 7.96 lakh crore earlier. In the corresponding period of the previous year, India’s fiscal deficit stood at 128.5 per cent of Budget estimates.

India’s fiscal deficit hits 66.8% of revised BE at January-end

During the April 2020 to January 2021, the total receipts stood at Rs 12.83 lakh crore which is 80.1 per cent of the revised Budget target of Rs 16.01 lakh crore, according to CGA data. 

  • Tax revenue stood at Rs 11.01 lakh crore, 82 per cent of revised estimates of Rs 13.44 lakh crore. 
  • Non-tax revenue was Rs 1.41 lakh crore, 67 per cent of Budget estimates of Rs 2.10 lakh crore. 
  • Revenue expenditure during the period was Rs 21.55 lakh crore, 71.6 per cent of the revised estimates of Rs 30.12 lakh crore. 
  • Capital expenditure came in at Rs 3.62 lakh crore for the period. This was 82.6 per cent of the estimates. 
  • Total expenditure came in at Rs 25.17 lakh crore 73 per cent of the Rs 34.50 lakh crore revised estimate. 
  • Revenue deficit was at Rs 9.12 lakh crore and primary deficit at Rs 7.14 lakh crore, which were 62.6 per cent and 61.8 per cent of the revised Budget target.

Fiscal deficit estimated to soar up to 9.5% of GDP in FY21

According to the revised estimates in the Union Budget 2021, the fiscal deficit in the year ending March 31, 2021, is estimated to surge up to 9.5 per cent of the GDP or Rs 18.48 lakh crore, funded through government borrowings, multilateral borrowings, small saving funds and short term borrowings. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in the Budget speech, added that another Rs 80,000 crore would be needed during February-March 2021. In 2020-21, total expenditure was 13 per cent higher than the budget estimate, with revenue expenditure increasing by 15 per cent and capital expenditure by 7 per cent.

BE 2021-22 pegs fiscal deficit at 6.8% of GDP

Revenue deficit is targeted at 5.1 per cent of GDP in 2021-22, which is lower than the revised estimate of 7.5 per cent in 2020-21 (3.3 per cent in 2019-20).

Fiscal deficit is targeted at 6.8 per cent of GDP or Rs 15.06 lakh crore in 2021-22, down from the revised estimate of 9.5 per cent in 2020-21 (4.6 per cent in 2019-20).

Gross borrowing from the market for the next year would be around Rs 12 lakh crore. According to the Union Budget 2021, the government aims to steadily reduce the fiscal deficit to 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26. To ensure that the economy is given the required push, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the BE2021-22 for expenditure is Rs 34.83 lakh crore. This includes the capital expenditure which is estimated at Rs 5.54 lakh crore (annual increase of 29 per cent over 2019-20), and revenue expenditure of Rs 29.29 lakh crore (annual increase of 12 per cent over 2019-20).

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