Fiscal Deficit Lower at 3.39% of GDP in 2018-19, Shows Government Data
In absolute terms, fiscal deficit at the end of March 31, 2019, stood at Rs 6.45 lakh crore as against Rs 6.34 lakh crore in the revised estimates of Budget.
Image for representation (Reuters)
New Delhi: The fiscal deficit for 2018-19 came in at 3.39 per cent of GDP, marginally lower than 3.4 per cent projected in the revised estimates of the Budget, mainly due to lower expenditure and increase in non-tax revenue.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit at the end of March 31, 2019, stood at Rs 6.45 lakh crore as against Rs 6.34 lakh crore in the revised estimates of Budget.
The fiscal deficit for 2018-19 works out to be 3.39 per cent of GDP, as per data released by Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
Although in absolute terms the fiscal deficit has gone up, but as a percentage of GDP the deficit figure has come down marginally, mainly on account of gross domestic product expansion in 2018-19.
GDP at current market prices in 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 190.10 lakh crore, a 11.2 per cent growth over Rs 170.95 lakh crore in 2017-18.
Non-tax revenues during the 2018-19 fiscal stood at Rs 2.46 lakh crore, marginally higher than Rs 2.45 lakh crore in the revised estimates of Budget.
However, tax revenue lagged at Rs 13.16 lakh crore during the last fiscal, as against Rs 14.84 lakh crore in the revised estimates.
Total receipts stood at Rs 16.66 lakh crore during the fiscal, compared to Rs 18.22 lakh crore in the revised estimates.
Total expenditure at the end of 2018-19 fiscal was lower at Rs 23.11 lakh crore as both capital and revenue expenditure was less than what was projected in the revised estimates. In the revised estimates, the government had projected total expenditure at Rs 24.57 lakh crore.
The CGA data also showed that fiscal deficit in April, the first month of 2019-20 fiscal, stood at 22.3 per cent of the Budget estimates.
In absolute terms, the deficit stood at Rs 1.57 lakh crore in April, while the full 2019-20 budget estimate is about Rs 7.04 lakh crore.
Fiscal deficit, which is the difference between expenditure and revenue, was originally budgeted at 3.3 per cent for 2018-19. However, the government later revised upward the deficit to 3.4 per cent in the revised estimates of 2018-19 Budget to accommodate extra spending on account of schemes for farmers.
For 2019-20 fiscal, deficit is budgeted at 3.4 per cent of GDP.
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