India's fiscal deficit crosses 114% of full-year target

01 April 2014
Fiscal deficit in the first eleven months of the 2013-14 financial year touched Rs5,99,000 crore ($100.03 billion), or 114.3 per cent of the full year target of Rs5,25,000 crore, government data showed.

Against this, the government's fiscal deficit stood at 97.4 per cent of the annual target during April-February 2012-13.

The finance ministry had revised the full-year fiscal deficit target to Rs5,25,000 crore, or 4.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), from Rs5,42,000 crore, or 4.8 per cent of GDP, earlier.

Net tax receipts of the government for the first 11 months of the fiscal stood at Rs6,27,000 crore, while total expenditure was about Rs14,00,000 crore.

With soaring expenditure and falling income, the central government's fiscal deficit breached both the revised estimate (RE) and budget estimate (BE) by February-end, one month ahead of the year-end of 31 March 2014, government data showed.

Total deficit of the government during April-February 2013-14 stood at Rs5,99,000 crore as both Plan and non-Plan expenditure of the government rose.

Revenues from disinvestment were also short of the Rs40,000-crore target, although higher compared to the revised target of  Rs16,000 crore.

Fiscal deficit rose about 14.3 per cent over the revised estimates of Rs5.24 lakh crore.

However, the month of March might see some fiscal surplus, as advance tax payments came and disinvestment gathered pace.

To meet the revised deficit target, the exchequer will have to show a fiscal surplus of Rs75,000 crore in March and a Rs57,000 crore surplus to meet the budget estimates.

Analysts expect the current year's deficit to be nearer to the budget estimates at around 4.8 per cent of gross domestic product than the revised estimate of 4.6 per cent of GDP.

Finance minister P Chidambaram, meanwhile, said the country's current account gap could be about $35 billion in FY14 (Aptil-March 2013-14).

The current account deficit, which was originally estimated at under $60 billion has been brought down progressively as we moved forward, he said, adding, that the actual CAD is likely to be much smaller, perhaps about $35 billion.

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