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Centre’s fiscal deficit touches 35% of annual target at H1-end


NEW DELHI: The government’s fiscal deficit has worked out to be Rs 5.26 lakh crore or 35 per cent of the budget estimates at the end of September 2021, as per the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Friday. The deficit figures in the current fiscal appear much better than the previous financial year when it had soared to 114.8 per cent of the estimates mainly on account of a jump in expenditure to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit or gap between expenditure and revenue was Rs 5,26,851 crore at end of August, the CGA said. For the current financial year, the government expects the deficit at 6.8 per cent of GDP or Rs 15,06,812 crore. As per the data, the central government’s total receipts stood at Rs 10.99 lakh crore or 55.6 per cent of corresponding budget estimates (BE) 2021-22 up to September, 2021. The total receipts were 25.2 per cent of the BE of 2020-21 during the corresponding period of last financial year. Of the total receipts, the tax revenue was Rs 9.2 lakh crore or 59.6 per cent of BE. The tax revenue was only 28 per cent of BE of 2020-21 in the year ago period. The CGA data further said central government’s total expenditure at the end of the first half of the fiscal year stood at Rs 16.26 lakh crore or 46.7 per cent of current fiscal’s BE. Of the total expenditure, out of Rs 13,96,666 crore was on revenue account and Rs 2,29,351 crore was on capital account. Out of the total revenue expenditure, Rs 3,63,757 crore was on account of interest payments and Rs 1,80,959 crore is on account of major subsidies. The fiscal deficit for 2020-21 was 9.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), better than 9.5 per cent projected in the revised estimates in the budget in February.


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