Govt's fiscal deficit overshoots estimate by 12% to Rs6,12,000 cr

The country's fiscal deficit at the end of November stood at Rs6,12,000 crore, overshooting the full year's budget estimate by 12 per cent, due mainly to lower revenue collections and higher expenditure, data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Friday showed.

For 2017-18, the fiscal deficit has been estimated at Rs5,46,000 crore, or 3.2 per cent of GDP. With proposed additional borrowing of Rs50,000 crore for the current fiscal the centre's fiscal deficit is likely to hit Rs6,62,000 crore or 3.88 per cent of GDP for FY18.

Fiscal deficit for the corresponding period in the previous year (April-November 2016-17) was 85.8 per cent of the budget estimate.

The central government's revenue deficit also exceeded the full-year estimate. During April-November, the government's revenue deficit stood at 152 per cent of the full-year estimate of Rs3,20,000 crore or 1.9 per cent of GDP. During the same period last year, revenue deficit was 98.2 per cent of the full-year estimate.

The government received Rs8,66,710 crore (54.2 per cent of corresponding BE 17-18 of totalreceipts) up to November 2017 comprising Rs6,99,392 crore tax revenue (net to centre), Rs1,05,469 crore of non-tax revenue and Rs61,849 crore of non-debt capital receipts. Non-debt capital receipts consist of recovery of loans (Rs9,471crore) and disinvestment of PSUs (Rs52,378crore).

Rs3,85,286 crore has been transferred to state governments as devolution of share of taxes by the central government for the period.

Total expenditure of the central government stood at Rs14,78,815 crore (68.9 pent of corresponding budget estimate of 17-18), out of which Rs12,94,700 crore was on revenue account and Rs1,84,115 crore on capital account.

Out of the total revenue expenditure, Rs3,09,799 crore was on account of interest payments and Rs2,06,068 crore on account of major subsidies.

The breach in fiscal deficit target comes on the back of the drop in goods and services tax (GST) collections for November, which declined to Rs80,808 crore (as of 25 December 2017), the lowest since the 1 July implementation of the new indirect tax regime, raising concerns about the government's ability to meet the deficit for the whole year.

The government on Wednesday had announced plans to borrow additional Rs50,000 crore but had said there will be no change in its budget estimates for net borrowing as the additional borrowing of long-term securities will be accompanied by similar reduction in outstanding Treasury Bills (T-bills).

Economists, however, said there might be fiscal slippage of 20-30 basis points in the current financial year.