NEW DELHI: The government’s fiscal deficit for the first six months of the year shot up to 114.8 per cent of the budget estimate on the back of a huge drop in revenue collections.
Monthly accounts statistics released by the Controller General of Accounts shows revenue collections in the April-September remained poor at Rs 5.65 lakh crore or just 25.2 per cent of the annual budget estimates, while expenditure stood at Rs 14.79 lakh crore or 48.6 per cent of the budget estimates (BE).
The revenue collections were 41.6 per cent of the collections in the same period last year, reflecting the
impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy. “The fiscal deficit which stood at Rs 9.14 lakh crore is
extremely high. Though the Government has already increased its borrowing programme to a record Rs 12 lakh crore. If revenue collection trends remain muted through the rest of the year, we may end up borrowing more,” said Finance Ministry officials.
The fiscal deficit for the year had been pegged at Rs 7.96 lakh crore or 3.5 per cent of the GDP in the Budget. The Government collected about Rs 4.58 lakh crore as tax revenues (net to Centre) which was 28 per cent of BE and 36.8 per cent of collections in the same period last year.
Non-tax revenues which include disinvestment receipts too were hit by the pandemic and stood at Rs 92,274 crore, or 24 per cent of BE. The government also collected Rs 14,635 crore as non-debt capital receipts, which included recovery of loans. The record mid-year deficit was despite attempts by the government to curb unnecessary expenditure through a string of fiats.