India's Apr-Jan fiscal deficit at over 66% of revised estimate


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India's budgetary fiscal deficit for the April-January 2020-21 period stood at Rs 12.34 lakh crore, or 66.8 per cent of the revised estimates (RE).

The 2020-21 deficit -- the difference between revenue and expenditure -- had now been pegged at Rs 18.48 lakh crore, as compared to the earlier target of Rs 7.96 lakh crore for the last fiscal.

As per the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data released on Friday, the fiscal deficit during the corresponding months of the previous fiscal was 128.5 per cent of that year's target.

The Central government's total expenditure stood at Rs 25.17 lakh crore (73 per cent of RE) while total receipts were Rs 12.83 lakh crore (80.1 per cent of RE).

"Fiscal deficit of central government in FY21 (April-January) came in at 66.8 per cent of FY21 (RE). This has become possible due to 10.4 per cent increase in net tax revenue of central government at a time when gross tax revenue has declined 0.4 per cent," said Sunil Sinha, Principal Economist, India Ratings and Research.

"Higher excise collection INR2.75 trillion in FY21 for the period...and lower tax devolutions to states has helped Central government garner higher net tax revenue," Sinha added.

According to Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA: "The government of India's fiscal deficit in the first 10 months of FY2021 was equal to two-thirds of the revised estimate (RE) for the fiscal deficit, with revenue receipts and capital expenditure around 80 per cent of the RE, whereas only 72 per cent of the allocation for revenue expenditure had been spent.

"In our assessment, there could be a modest upside to tax revenues, whereas the revenue spending may be somewhat lower than the amount included in FY2021 RE. Therefore, the GoI's fiscal deficit in FY2021 may end up undershooting the RE of Rs 18.5 trillion."

Nevertheless, Nayar said that bond yields are likely to remain elevated, taking a cue from the large borrowing programme for FY2022, as well as the global uptick in yields and crude oil prices.
Source: IANS

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