Fiscal deficit touches 59 per cent of full-year target in May
The fiscal deficit during the first two months of the current financial year widened to Rs 4.66 lakh crore, which is nearly 58.6 per cent of Budget estimates (BE), mainly driven by poor tax collection caused by the nationwide lockdown, which was implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The fiscal deficit during the corresponding period of the last year was 52 per cent of Budget estimates. The deficit was 35.1 per cent of BE at the end of April. Fiscal deficit had soared to a seven-year high of 4.6 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019-20, primarily due to poor revenue realisation, which dipped further towards the close of March because of the lockdown. The government had pegged the fiscal deficit for 2020-21 at Rs 7.96 lakh crore or 3.5 per cent of the GDP in the Budget held in February 2020.
According to the data of Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the revenue receipts of the government stood at Rs 44,667 crore or 2.2 per cent of the BE. During the same period of the last fiscal, the realisation was 7.3 per cent of the BE. Meanwhile, the tax revenue stood at Rs 33,850 crore or 2.1 per cent of BE during the first two months of the fiscal. Total receipts of the government were 2 per cent of the BE or Rs 45,498 crore. In Budget, the government had estimated the total receipts for the fiscal at Rs 22.45 lakh crore. The government's total expenditure stood at Rs 5.11 lakh crore or 16.8 per cent of the BE at the end of May. During the same period of the last fiscal, the total expenditure was 18.4 per cent of BE.