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India’s fiscal deficit for April-July 2014 touched R32.5 lakh crore, marginally lower than the deficit reported in the same time a year ago and 61% of the full-year target.
For the same period a year ago, the fiscal deficit was R34.06 lakh crore, or 62.8% of the full-year estimate.
The data released by the Controller General of Accounts on Friday shows that total expenditure of the government during April-July was over R5.03 lakh crore or 28.1% of the full year estimate. Of the total expenditure, plan spending was over R1.32 lakh crore and non-plan spending was R3.71 lakh crore. Revenue collection was over R1.75 lakh crore or 14.8% of the budget estimate (BE). Total receipts, from tax and non-tax revenue, as well as non-debt capital receipts of the Centre in the first four months of FY15 was R1.79 lakh crore.
As per the FY15 Budget, plan expenditure for the fiscal is expected to be R5.75 lakh crore, and non-plan spending is expected to be R12.20 lakh crore. Total receipts for FY15 are budgeted at R11.90 lakh crore, and tax revenues are expected to be R9.77 lakh crore.
In spite of net revenue foregone of R14,000 crore, the Centre is confident of achieving about 19% tax growth y-o-y as the economy shows signs of recovery. The first quarter GDP data, which was also released on Friday, showed the economy grew at 5.7% for April-June, the highest in nine quarters.
Data also said revenue deficit in the four months was over R2.66 lakh crore or 70.4% of BE. The government had put in place a fiscal consolidation roadmap, according to which fiscal deficit has to be brought down to 3% of the GDP by FY17.
The finance ministry said in its FY14 debt report that external debt stood at $440.6 billion at end-March 2014, up $31.2 billion, or 7.6%, from end-March 2013. Long-term external debt on March 31, 2014, was $351.4 billion, up 12.4% over the same date last year. At this level, long-term external debt accounted for 79.7% of total external debt at end-March 2014. Short-term external debt stood at $89.2 billion at end-March 2014, down 7.7% over $96.7 billion at end-March 2013. “Rise in external debt was due to long-term debt, particularly, NRI deposits. The surge in deposits reflected impact of fresh FCNR(B) deposits mobilised under the swap scheme during September-November 2013 to tide over the difficult balance of payments situation in the initial parts