Centre contains fiscal deficit to 3.99% of GDP

The fiscal deficit target was set at 4.1%

Centre contains fiscal deficit to 3.99% of GDP

Beating its own financial target, the government has contained the fiscal deficit at 3.99 per cent of GDP in 2014-15 to Rs 5.01 lakh crore.

According to national accounts data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Gross Domestic Product at current prices is estimated at Rs 125.41 lakh crore in the last financial year ended March 31, 2015.

Fiscal deficit, gap between government’s expenditure and revenue, at 3.99 per cent of GDP is lower than the downwardly revised estimate of 4.1 per cent provided in the government’s first full Budget announced in February.

“As a result of prudent policies and commitment to fiscal consolidation, the fiscal deficit at the end of 2014-15, stands at Rs 5,01,880 crore which is 98 per cent of the projected figure in Revised Estimate for 2014-15,” the Finance Ministry had said in statement on May 17.

The ministry had said that “fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is 4 per cent as against revised estimates of 4.1 per cent for 2014-15”, but the GDP data had not been released at that time.

The fiscal deficit target was set at 4.1 per cent by the former UPA government, but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said he was taking it as a “challenge” to meet this ambitious and “daunting target” set up by his predecessor P Chidambaram.

The government has set the fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal at 3.9 per cent of the GDP or Rs 5,55,649 lakh crore with the assumption that the size of the economy at current prices would be Rs 141.08 lakh crore in 2015-16.

As per the fiscal consolidation road map outlined in the Budget 2015-16, fiscal deficit is to be brought down to 3.9 per cent of GDP in the current fiscal, then to 3.5 per cent in 2016-17 and further to 3 per cent by 2017-18. The 3 per cent target would now be reached a year later than planned earlier.

The lower fiscal deficit reduces the government’s expenditure on interest payment and unlocks funds for investments in social welfare programmes as well as infrastructure development.
Racing on... Reining in

Govt contains fiscal deficit at 3.99% of GDP; beats own target
Fiscal deficit target set at 4.1% by the UPA govt
Current govt set fiscal deficit target for current fiscal at 3.9% of GDP assuming that the size of the economy at current prices would be Rs 141.08 lakh cr
May result in further social welfare schemes and infra development

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