Higher deficit is despite a reduction of 3.4% in expenditure; revenues too fell short of target
The Centre’s fiscal deficit for FY18 came in at 3.53% of the gross domestic product (GDP), marginally higher than the revised estimate (RE) of 3.5% when Budget FY19 was presented on February 1. The higher deficit is despite a reduction of Rs 75,000-crore (3.4%) in expenditure from the RE level of Rs 22.18 lakh crore and a marginal upward revision in nominal GDP. Revenues too fell short of target. The bulk of the spending cut came on the revenue front (about Rs 66,036 crore), while capex too saw a reduction (some Rs 9,047 crore). The original (Budget estimate) of FY18 fiscal deficit was 3.2%.
Net tax revenue stood at Rs 12.43 lakh crore or 97.9% of the revised estimate of Rs 12.69 lakh crore. However, non-tax revenue including non-debt capital receipts did not fare well. Total non-tax receipts were about Rs 3.08 lakh crore or 87.2% of the RE of Rs 3.53 lakh crore. In absolute terms, the FY18 fiscal deficit of the Centre was around Rs 5.92 lakh crore or 99.5% of the revised estimate of Rs 5.95 lakh crore.
The Central Statistics Organisation on Thursday said nominal GDP stood at Rs 167,73,145 crore (up 10% on-year) as against the second advance estimate of Rs 167,51,688 crore (9.8%).The Centre’s total expenditure was around Rs 21.43 lakh crore in FY18 or 96.6% of the RE. The Centre’s revenue expenditure was Rs 18.79 lakh crore, which was 96.6% of the target. Its capex was Rs 2.64 lakh crore or 96.7% of the RE. The government seems to have recalled subsidies worth Rs 23,735 crore in Q4. According to the Comptroller General of Accounts, the Centre’s major subsidies were at Rs 1,91,109 crore in the whole of FY18 as against Rs 2,14,845 crore in April-December 2017.