By BS Reporter
For the first seven months of this financial year, the Centre’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 3.68 lakh crore, 68.32 per cent of the revised fiscal deficit target for the current financial year. Earlier, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had revised the fiscal deficit target to 5.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), against the Budget Estimate of 5.1 per cent.
Collating the GDP figures released on Friday and the fiscal deficit figures released last month, for the first half of this financial year, the fiscal deficit accounted for 7.36 per cent of GDP. Till October, the government’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 3.67 lakh crore, against the revised estimate of Rs 5.38 lakh crore, considering the nominal GDP growth of 14 per cent in Budget 2012-13.
Chidambaram had said the government would reassess the fiscal deficit target after a mid-year review. It would also consider the pace of expenditure and the government’s resource position.
If one considers the Budget Estimate, fiscal deficit till October accounted for 71.6 per cent of the target. In the corresponding period of 2011-12, the fiscal deficit stood at 74.4 per cent of the Budget Estimate. Against the Budget Estimate of 4.6 per cent of GDP, the Centre’s fiscal deficit stood at 5.76 per cent in 2011-12.
For the April-October period, revenue deficit, the gap between the Centre’s current expenditure and current receipts, stood at Rs 2,852,52 crore, 81.4 per cent of the Budget Estimate, against 79.1 per cent in the corresponding period last year. Plan expenditure stood at Rs 2.24 lakh crore, 43.2 per cent of the budgeted Rs 5.21 lakh crore. In the year-ago period, Plan expenditure stood at 45.6 per cent of the Budget Estimate.
Non-Plan expenditure in April-October stood at Rs 5.45 lakh crore, 57.2 per cent of the Budget target of Rs 9.69 lakh crore for the entire financial year. In the year-ago period, it stood at 58.7 per cent of the Budget Estimate.
Chidambaram on Friday said the government had imposed various measures, including a 10 per cent mandatory cut on non-Plan expenditure in the current financial year, a ban on holding meetings and conferences at five-star hotels, a ban on creation of Plan and non-Plan posts and restrictions on foreign travel. He added the government was also trying to cut expenditure on central subsidies.
In the April-October period, the government’s revenue collection stood at just Rs 4.04 lakh crore, 43.2 per cent of the Budget estimate of Rs 9.35 lakh crore, while tax collections stood at Rs 3.33 lakh crore, 43.3 per cent of the Budget estimate.