Will stay on Budget fiscal-consolidation path: Government

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) With India’s fiscal deficit at November-end last year having touched 87 percent of budget estimates for the current fiscal, the government on Friday said it will stay on its fiscal-consolidation path without compromising on development spending and expenditure budgeted for this fiscal.

“As a result of sound prudent policies formulated during 2015-16, the fiscal deficit at the end of November 2015 is Rs.4.83 lakh crore or 87 percent of the Budget Estimate for this fiscal,” a finance ministry statement here said.

“Government is committed to promoting and strengthening inclusive and sustainable development by ensuring proper and effective utilization of funds provided in the Annual Budget without compromising fiscal consolidation,” it said.

“The fiscal deficit, that is, the gap between expenditure and revenue, for the entire current fiscal year, has been pegged at Rs.5.55 lakh crore (3.9 percent of GDP),” it added.

The government said that, in absolute terms, there is a decrease of Rs.41,611 crore over the figure registered in November 2014.

Roughly speaking, in eight months to November 2015, the fiscal deficit should have been around two-thirds of the budgeted amount. With it touching more than four-fifths of the benchmark, the chances of the fiscal deficit for the whole fiscal year overshooting its target of 3.9 percent of the gross domestic product are very high.

Of the financing through borrowings, the government has already reached 88 percent of the money that has been budgeted to be raised through domestic sources at Rs.4.80 lakh crore.

The statement said the government’s revenue deficit — the net of grants for creation of capital assets — at Rs.2,64,404 crore in November 2015 is lower by 20 percent, or Rs.65,087 crore, over November 2014.

Against the budgeted expenditure of Rs.1,35,257 crore under the plan head for creation of capital assets, the government has already incurred Rs.97,788 crore (72 percent of the budget estimate) as compared to Rs.62,146 crore (51 percent of BE) in the same period of the last fiscal, it added.

Total expenditure also increased from 60 percent of budget estimates in November 2014 to 64 percent in November 2015.

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