India’s fiscal deficit soared to Rs 7.15 lakh crore at the end of February, exceeding the revised target of Rs 5.94 lakh crore for the entire 2017-18 fiscal.
As per data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), fiscal deficit for April-February was 120 per cent of the revised estimates on account of increased expenditure and subdued revenue receipts.
The monthly account till February-end revealed that the government has collected Rs 12.83 lakh crore revenue, which is 79.09 per cent of revised estimates.
Of this, over Rs 10.35 lakh crore is collected from taxes, while over Rs 1.42 lakh crore and Rs 1.05 lakh crore accrued on account of non-tax revenue and non-debt capital receipts, respectively.
Non-debt capital receipts consist of recovery of loans of Rs 13,301 crore. Besides, Rs 92,493 crore has been mopped up through PSU disinvestment till February-end.
In the revised estimates of 2017-18, the government had raised the disinvestment target to Rs 1 lakh crore, up from Rs 72,500 crore in the Budget estimates.
In 11 months till February, over Rs 5.29 lakh crore has been transferred to state governments as devolution of share of taxes by the Centre, which is Rs 66,039 crore higher than the corresponding period of last year 2016-17.
Total expenditure incurred by the government during the period was over Rs 19.99 lakh crore, which is 90.14 per cent of revised estimates for 2017-18.
Of this, Rs 17.02 lakh crore is on revenue account and Rs 2.97 lakh crore is on capital account.
Of the total revenue expenditure, Rs 4.50 lakh crore is on account of interest payments and Rs 2.27 lakh crore is on account of major subsidies.
In the Budget for 2018-19 presented on February 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had revised upwards the fiscal deficit target to 3.5 per cent of the GDP for 2017-18, as against the initial target of 3.2 per cent, on account of GST implementation and deferment of spectrum auction.
The fiscal deficit or gap between total expenditure and revenues has been pegged at 3.3 per cent for 2018-19.