New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) India’s budgetary fiscal deficit for the April-October period was Rs 7.20 lakh crore, or 102.4 per cent of the budget estimates (BE), official data showed on Friday.
The government has targeted the fiscal deficit to be at Rs 7.03 lakh crore for 2019-20.
According to the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data, the fiscal deficit during the corresponding months of the previous fiscal was 103.9 per cent of that year’s target.
The Central government’s total expenditure stood at Rs 16.54 lakh crore (59.4 per cent of BE) while total receipts were Rs 9.34 lakh crore (44.9 per cent of BE).
Besides, the total expenditure for the period under review comprised Rs 14.53 lakh crore on the revenue account, while Rs 2.01 lakh crore was on capital expenditure.
Total receipts comprised Rs 6.83 lakh crore of net tax revenue and Rs 2.24 lakh crore of non-tax revenue receipts.
“With the Government of India’s (GoI’s) fiscal deficit for the first seven months of FY2020 recording a YoY increase of 11 per cent, and standing at 102.4 per cent of the budget estimates for the full year, concerns persist on the extent of the eventual fiscal slippage that is likely in the current year,” said ICRA Principal Economist Aditi Nayar.
“It remains unclear whether the targeted disinvestment in all identified entities would be completed during FY2020, and whether the GoI would meet its disinvestment target for this fiscal.”
Nayar also pointed out that given the likely sizeable shortfall in tax collections and lack of clarity on the additional revenues that would be received from the telecom sector, expenditure cuts may need to be undertaken to prevent the fiscal deficit from rising too sharply in FY2020.
India Ratings and Research’s Chief Economist Devendra Pant said: “Economic growth in FY20 is likely to be 5.6 per cent and this does not instill confidence in achievement of 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target unless there is steep expenditure reduction, which in the present scenario looks unlikely.”
“The only hope rests with disinvestment (government has over achieved disinvestment targets in last few years) and expenditure roll over. Expenditure roll over will also have an impact on economic growth. Ind-Ra forecast fiscal deficit at 3.6 per cent of GDP in FY20.”