The fiscal deficit in 2013-14 stood at 4.5 per cent of GDP, lower than 4.6 per cent projected in the revised estimate, mainly on account of curbs on government expenditure.
The fiscal deficit, the gap between government's expenditure and revenue, in actual terms was Rs 5.08 lakh crore as against 5.24 lakh crore projected in the revised estimate.
"The fiscal deficit is 4.5 per cent of GDP. Revenue deficit is 3.2 per cent of GDP. Effective revenue deficit is 2 per cent of GDP," the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) said in the provisional accounts for 2013-2014.
The government's total expenditure worked out to be Rs 15.63 lakh crore in the last fiscal as against the original budget estimate Rs 16.65 lakh crore.
The expenditure estimate was later revised downwards to Rs 15.90 lakh crore in the interim budget.
The revenue collection was Rs 10.15 lakh crore. The revised target was Rs 10.29 lakh crore.
The government had chalked out a fiscal consolidation roadmap under which the fiscal deficit needs to be brought down 3 per cent of GDP by 2016-17.
The lower fiscal deficit reduces the government's expenditure on interest payment and unlock funds for investments in social welfare programmes as well as infrastructure development.
The CGA data revealed that government's total receipts, including non-debt capital receipts, were be Rs 10.55 lakh crore. The revised estimate was Rs 10.65 lakh crore.
The Plan expenditure was Rs 4.53 lakh crore and non-Plan spending Rs 11.10 lakh crore.
On financing the deficit, CGA said Rs 6,648.05 crore was external and Rs 5.01 lakh crore came from domestic sources. Domestic sources included Rs 4.96 crore market borrowings and Rs 25,466 crore from National Small Saving Fund.
ICRA Senior Economist Aditi Nayar said fiscal deficit of 4.5 per cent in spite of the lower-than-targeted tax revenues was largely made possible by a curtailment of Plan revenue expenditure.
ICRA, she said, expects the new government to announce its fiscal consolidation plan, specifying annual targets and an overall time frame for compressing the fiscal deficit to 3 per cent of GDP.