Govt’s Fiscal Deficit At 11.8 Per Cent Of Full Year Target, CGA Data Shows

The central government’s fiscal deficit stood at 11.8 per cent of the full-year budget estimates for 2023-24 at the end of May, according to the government data, reported PTI. This is lower than the fiscal deficit of 12.3 per cent of the 2022-23 budget estimates during the same period last year. The fiscal deficit, which represents the shortfall between the government’s total expenditure and revenue, serves as an indicator of the government’s borrowing requirements. The government borrows from the market to finance its fiscal deficit.

As per data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), in actual terms, the fiscal deficit at the end of May 2023 stood at Rs 2,10,287 crore, the report said. 

According to the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the revenue-expenditure data of the Union government for the first two months of the financial year 2023-24 reveals that the net tax revenue amounted to Rs 2.78 lakh crore, which is 11.9 per cent of the budget estimates (BE). The total expenditure during this period was Rs 6.25 lakh crore, accounting for 13.9 per cent of the estimates presented in the Union Budget for the current fiscal year.

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In the Union Budget 2023-24, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman targeted to bring down the fiscal deficit during the current financial year 2023-24 to 5.9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). In the previous year, the deficit stood at 6.4 percent of the GDP, which was lower than the earlier estimate of 6.71 percent.

The Centre was able to comfortably meet the fiscal deficit target in 2022-23 thanks to its net tax revenue exceeding the revised estimate by 0.5 per cent, while non-tax revenue beat expectations by 9.3 per cent. However, disinvestment fared badly, with proceeds from it coming in at Rs 46,035 crore, missing the revised target of Rs 60,000 crore. When compared to 2021-22, the central government’s receipts were 11.2 per cent higher, with net tax revenue up 16.2 per cent.