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Fiscal deficit at Jan-end touches 63.6% of full year target

For 2023-24, the government's fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 17.35 lakh crore or 5.8 per cent of the GDP.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 12:24 IST

New Delhi: The government's fiscal deficit at Rs 11 lakh crore at January end touched 63.6 per cent of the revised annual target, according to the official data released on Thursday.

In the corresponding period last year, the fiscal deficit or gap between the expenditure and revenue was 67.8 per cent of Revised Estimates (RE) of the Union Budget 2022-23.

For 2023-24, the government's fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 17.35 lakh crore or 5.8 per cent of the GDP.

The government's total receipts stood at Rs 22.52 lakh crore (81.7 per cent of corresponding RE 2023-24 of total receipts) as of January 2024, according to the data released by Controller General of Accounts (CGA).

This comprised Rs 18.8 lakh crore tax revenue (net), Rs 3.38 lakh crore of non-tax revenue and Rs 34,219 crore of non-debt capital receipts.

Non-debt capital receipts consist of the recovery of loans and miscellaneous capital receipts.

The total expenditure incurred by the Centre was Rs 33.54 lakh crore (74.7 per cent of corresponding RE 2023-24), out of which Rs 26.33 lakh crore is on revenue account and Rs 7.2 lakh crore on capital account.

As per the CGA data, Rs 8,20,250 crore has been transferred to state governments as devolution of share of taxes by the central government up to this period, which is Rs 1,52,480 crore higher than the previous year.

Out of the total revenue expenditure, Rs 8,21,731 crore was on account of interest payments and Rs 3,15,559 crore on major subsidies.

Commenting on the data, Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist, ICRA, said, "While there may be some slippage in the disinvestment target and capex may trail the FY2024 RE, ICRA does not expect the revised fiscal deficit target of Rs 17.3 lakh crore for FY2024 to be breached."

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in the interim Budget refrained from announcing populist measures, which is expected to help it trim the fiscal deficit to 5.1 per cent of the GDP next fiscal and 4.5 per cent in FY26.

The nominal GDP growth for the next financial year has been pegged at 10.5 per cent against the 11 per cent estimated earlier.

The nominal GDP as per budget estimate 2024-25 has been projected at Rs 3,27,71,808 crore, assuming 10.5 per cent growth over the estimated nominal GDP of Rs 2,96,57,745 crore, as per the First Advance Estimates of FY2023-24.

Helped by an improvement in tax buoyancy, the government managed to achieve a fiscal deficit of 5.8 per cent against the budget estimate of 5.9 per cent for the current financial year.

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(Published 29 February 2024, 12:24 IST)

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