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Fiscal deficit touches 31.1 % of annual target at end-August

The government’s fiscal deficit stood at ₹ 4.68 lakh crore or 31.1 % of the Budget estimates at the end of August, as per data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Thursday.

The deficit figure in the current fiscal appears much better than the previous financial year when it had soared to 109.3 % 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 ₹ 4,68,009 crore at end of August, the CGA said.

For the current financial year, the government expects the deficit at 6.8 % of GDP or ₹ 15,06,812 crore.

As per the data, the central government’s total receipts stood at ₹ 8.08 lakh crore or 40.9 % of the corresponding Budget Estimate (BE) 2021-22 up to August, 2021.

The total receipts were 16.8 % of the BE of 2020-21 during the corresponding period of the last financial year.

Of the total receipts, the tax revenue was ₹ 6.44 lakh crore or 41.7 % of BE. The tax revenue was only 17.4 % of BE of 2020-21 in the year-ago period.

The CGA said Centre’s total expenditure was ₹ 12.76 lakh crore or 36.7 % of BE up to August 2021.

The fiscal deficit for 2020-21 was 9.3 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), better than 9.5 % projected in the revised estimates in the Budget in February.

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