According to official data released on Friday, the fiscal deficit of the central government at the end of November stood at 46.2 per cent of the annual budget target for the fiscal year 2021-22.
The deficit figures in the current financial year till November appear much better than the previous financial year, when it widened to 135.1 per cent of the estimate mainly due to spurt in spending to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
In real terms, the deficit stood at Rs 6,95,614 crore at the end of November 2021 against an annual estimate of Rs 15.06 lakh crore, according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
For the current fiscal, the government expects the deficit to be 6.8 per cent of GDP or Rs 15,06,812 crore. According to the data, the total receipts of the government at the end of November stood at Rs 13.78 lakh crore or 69.8 per cent of the Budget Estimate (BE). The collection in the corresponding period of the last financial year was just 37 per cent of the BE of 2020-21.
Tax (net) revenue so far stood at 73.5 per cent of the BE of 2021-22. This was only 42.1 per cent of BE 2020-21 in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. The CGA data further said that the total expenditure of the central government at the end of November stood at Rs 20.74 lakh crore or 59.6 per cent of this year’s budget estimate.
The fiscal deficit for 2020-21 stood at 9.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), better than the 9.5 per cent projected in the revised estimates in the budget in February.