The government's fiscal deficit at the end of December 2015 stood at Rs4,88,185 crore or 87.9 per cent of the budget estimate (BE), exceeding the annual target for the period by a minor margin of 0.2 per cent, figures released by the Controller General of Accounts on Friday showed.
The fiscal deficit was at the same level of 87 per cent in November 2015 as well. However, according to the centre, its balance sheet continued to be under control in the first three quarters of 2015-16, with the fiscal deficit at 88 per cent of the full year's target.
The CAG report noted that revenue deficit remained in check at Rs3,22,234 crore or 81.7 per cent of the BE between April and December 2015. It was 106.2 per cent of the full year target a year ago.
Tax collections of the centre - both corporate tax and excise duty – hit an all-time high in December. The government collected Rs1,01,681 crore as corporate tax during the month while excise duty collections stood at Rs25,096 crore, on the back of six rounds of hikes in duty on petrol and diesel.
Aggregate tax revenue during April-December 2015-16 stood at Rs6,22,247 crore, forming 67.6 per cent of the full-year target, against 55.8 per cent a year ago. The centre's total receipts also stood at Rs8,25,812 crore, or 67.6 per cent of the BE.
The government's expenditure is by and large under check, CAG noted, adding that although during the fiscal stimulus period, its total expenditure was on the higher side, it was well within limits at Rs13,13,997 crore or 73.9 per cent of the total expenditure bill of Rs17,77,477 crore for 2015-16.
Of this, Plan expenditure foruring the period stood at rs3,45,978 core, 74.4 per cent of the BE, against 61.3 per cent a year ago. Non-Plan expenditure during April-December 2015-16 stood at Rs9,68,019 crore, or 73.8 per cent of the full fiscal estimate - roughly the same level as the year ago.