The budget deficit at the end of January is 63.6% of the full-year target: government data | Economics and Policy News – Business Standard

Total expenditure during the period was 33.55 trillion rupees, or about 75% of the annual target, compared to 31.68 trillion rupees in the same period last year

The government’s fiscal deficit stood at 11 trillion rupees at the end of January and stood at 63.6 percent of the revised annual target, according to official data released on Thursday.

In the corresponding period last year, the fiscal deficit or the gap between expenditure and revenue was 67.8 percent of the revised estimates (RE) of the Union Budget 2022-2023.

For 2023-24, the government’s fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 17.35 trillion or 5.8 percent of GDP.

The government’s total revenue stood at Rs 22.52 trillion in January 2024 (81.7 percent of the corresponding RE 2023-24 of total revenue), according to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).

This included Rs 18.8 trillion in tax revenue (net), Rs 3.38 trillion in non-tax revenue and Rs 34,219 crore in non-debt capital receipts.

Non-debt capital receipts consist of loan recovery and miscellaneous capital receipts.

The Centre’s total expenditure was Rs 33.54 trillion (74.7 per cent of the corresponding RE 2023-24), of which Rs 26.33 trillion was on the revenue account and Rs 7.2 trillion on the capital account.

As per the CGA data, till this period, Rs 8,20,250 crore has been transferred to state governments as transfer of part of taxes from the central government, which is Rs 1,52,480 crore higher than the previous year.

Of the total revenue expenditure, Rs 8,21,731 crore came from interest payments and Rs 3,15,559 crore on major subsidies.

Commenting on the data, Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist, ICRA said, “While there may be some slippage in the disinvestment target and capex may lag behind the RE for FY2024, ICRA does not expect the revised fiscal deficit target of Rs 17 .3 trillion for fiscal year 2024 will be breached.”

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has refrained from announcing populist measures in the interim budget, which are expected to help reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.1 percent of GDP in the next fiscal and 4.5 percent in the budget year 26.

Nominal GDP growth for the next fiscal year is set at 10.5 percent, up from the previously estimated 11 percent.

Nominal GDP under the Budget estimate for 2024-25 has been pegged at Rs 3,27,71,808 crore, assuming a growth of 10.5 per cent over estimated nominal GDP of Rs 2,96,57,745 crore, according to the first preliminary FY2023-24 estimates.

Aided by an improvement in the tax burden, the government has managed to post a fiscal deficit of 5.8 percent, compared to the budget estimate for the current fiscal year of 5.9 percent.

First print: February 29, 2024 | 4:49 pm IST