India’s April-August fiscal deficit at 66.5 percent of annual target

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) India’s fiscal deficit for the April-August period of the
current fiscal stood at Rs.3.69 lakh crore, thereby reaching 66.5 percent of the full year’s target of Rs.5.56 lakh crore, official data showed on Wednesday.

The fiscal deficit during the same period last year had touched 74.9 percent of the year’s target.

The government’s revenue receipts during April-August were Rs.3.45 lakh crore, or 30.3 percent of the full fiscal target of Rs 11.41 lakh crore, data from the Controller General of Accounts here showed.

The revenue receipts were increased by a surplus transfer of Rs.65,896 crore as dividend payment by the Reserve Bank of India to the government.

The total expenditure of the government until August was Rs 7.32 lakh crore or 41.2 percent of the budget estimate (BE) for the full year.

Total expenditure in the corresponding period last year was 37.5 percent of the BE.

The fiscal deficit was Rs.3.85 lakh crore during April-July, or 69.3 percent of the full-year target.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the government is committed to meet its fiscal deficit target “to consolidate the gains achieved in reducing inflation”, following the Reserve Bank’s (RBI) cutting of interest charged on short-term borrowings to 6.75 percent.

On Monday addressing Indian Banks’ Association’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, Jaitley said he is confident of maintaining fiscal deficit at 3.9 percent in the current financial year.

In his February budget, Jaitley had extended the target deadline for controlling fiscal deficit to three percent, reasoning that insistence on a timetable to contain the deficit would harm growth prospects.

The targets for the next three years have been set at 3.9 percent for 2015-16, 3.5 percent for 2016-17, and 3.0 percent for 2017-18.

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