India’s April-May fiscal deficit at over 37 percent of estimate

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) India’s fiscal deficit in the first two months (April-May) of the current financial year touched Rs.208,624 crore, or 37.5 percent of the target for the current fiscal, official data showed on Tuesday.

This compares with the deficit of 45.3 percent during the same period a year ago.

The fiscal deficit for the full fiscal 2015-16 has been estimated at Rs.555,000 crore, or 3.9 percent of the GDP.

The government’s tax revenue for the period was Rs.19,889 crore or 2.2 percent of the estimate, data from the Controller General of Accounts showed.

Total receipts (from revenue and non-debt capital) during the two months in question was Rs.54,207 crore or 4.4 percent of the estimates.

Total expenditure of the government during April-May was Rs.262,000 crore or 14.8 percent of the full year’s estimates.

The revenue deficit during April-May was over Rs.172,000 crore or 43.8 percent of the estimates.

The government last month said it had managed to improve on its target for containing the fiscal and revenue deficits in the 2014-15 fiscal.

“As a result of prudent policies and commitment to fiscal consolidation, fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is 4.0 percent as against the RE (revised estimate) of 4.1 percent (4.4 percent for the previous 2013-14),” the finance ministry said in a statement.

“The fiscal deficit at the end of 2014-15, stands at Rs.5,01,880 crore which is 98 percent of the projected figure in RE 2014-15,” it added.

Regarding receipts, the government said gross tax collections at Rs.12,45,037 crore for the last fiscal had shown a growth of 9 percent (Rs.1,06,303 crore) as compared to fiscal 2013-14.

The gross tax collections is 9.8 percent of GDP, it added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had in the Budget 2015-16 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 percent for 2017-18.

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