Fiscal deficit reaches over 78 pc at Rs 5.54 lakh crore till August-end

New Delhi: The country's fiscal deficit touched Rs 5.54 lakh crore at the end of August, which was 78.7 per cent of the Budget Estimate for 2019-20, official data showed on Monday.

In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit or the gap between expenditure and revenue was Rs 5,53,840 crore as on August 31, according to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).

The deficit was at 86.5 per cent of the 2018-19 Budget Estimate (BE) in corresponding month a year ago. The government has pegged the fiscal deficit for the current financial year at Rs 7.03 lakh crore, while aiming to restrict the deficit at 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

However, the government has let go of its revenues to the tune of Rs 1.45 lakh crore by announcing cuts in corporate tax, aimed at boosting the faltering economy.

Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty on Monday said the government maintains the fiscal glide path with the borrowing target of Rs 2.68 lakh crore for the second half of this financial year.

The CGA data showed that revenue receipts of the government during the April-August 2019 period rose to 30.7 per cent of the BE compared to 26.9 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

In absolute terms, revenue receipts stood at Rs 6.03 lakh crore at the end of August. For the entire 2019-20, the revenue receipts has been pegged at Rs 19.62 lakh crore.

The capital expenditure was 40.3 per cent of the BE as compares with 44.1 per cent in the year-ago period, the CGA said. Total expenditure during the April-August period stood at Rs 11.75 lakh crore or 42.2 per cent of the BE. It was 43.8 per cent of BE in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The government has pegged its total expenditure for the financial year 2019-20 at Rs 27.86 lakh crore. The CGA further said the fiscal deficit figure in monthly accounts during a financial year is not necessarily an indicator of fiscal deficit for the year.

Its data gets impacted by temporal mismatch between flow of non-debt receipts and expenditure up to that month on account of various transitional factors both on receipt and expenditure side, which may get substantially offset by the end of the financial year.

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