Fiscal deficit in Jan. at 121.5% of full-year target

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Compares with 113.7% a year earlier

Fiscal deficit widened in January to ₹7.7 lakh crore, or 121.5% of the Budget Estimates for the full year, official data released on Tuesday showed.

The fiscal deficit — basically the excess of government expenditure over revenues, excluding borrowings — stood at ₹7 lakh crore in the April-December 2018 period, which was 112.4% of the full year target. Last year, the fiscal deficit in the April to January period was at 113.7% of the full year target.

The fiscal deficit figure works out to 5.5% of GDP for the year as per the first advance estimate released by the government in January, the latest data available. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had in the Budget 2019-20 said that the fiscal deficit would come to 3.4% of GDP in 2018-19, marginally higher than the targeted 3.3%.

Total receipts

The government’s total receipts— the summation of its tax, non-tax, non-debt capital and other receipts — were at ₹12.30 lakh crore in the April to January period, which is 67.5% of the target for the year. This figure was 71.7% of the budget estimate during the same period in the previous year.

Within this, the government’s total tax receipts stood at ₹10.2 lakh crore in the April to January period or 68.7% of the budgeted target for the full year, with just two months left in the financial year.

The total expenditure during the period was ₹20 lakh crore, which is 81.5% of the budgeted target for the full year.

“₹5,41,738 crore has been transferred to state governments as devolution of share of taxes by the Government of India up to this period which is ₹60,261 crore higher than the corresponding period of last year 2017-18,” the government said in a release.

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