Union govt’s fiscal deficit soared to 145.5% of the budget estimate
The Union government’s fiscal deficit soared to Rs 11.58 lakh crore, or 145.5 per cent of the budget estimate, at the end of December 2020, mainly on account of lower revenue realisation.
Revenue realisation was hit by disruptions in normal business activities following the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown.
According to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the fiscal deficit at the end of December in the previous financial year was 132.4 per cent of the Budget Estimate (BE) of 2019-20.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit stood at Rs 11,58,469 crore at December-end.
For the current fiscal, the government had pegged the fiscal deficit at Rs 7.96 lakh crore, or 3.5 per cent of the GDP, in the budget which was presented in February 2020.
The fiscal deficit or gap between the expenditure and revenue had breached the annual target in July this year.
According to the data, the government received Rs 11.21 lakh crore (50 per cent of corresponding BE 2020-21 of total receipts) up to December 2020. Of this, Rs 9,62,399 crore was tax revenue, Rs 1,26,181 crore was non-tax revenue and Rs 33,098 crore was non-debt capital receipts.
Non-debt capital receipts consist of recovery of loans (Rs 14,202 crore) and divestment proceeds (Rs 18,896 crore). The total receipts till December 2020 works out to be 49.9 per cent of the BE. The receipts were 56.6 per cent of the BE 2019-20 at the end of December 2019.
The CGA also said that Rs 3,71,640 crore has been transferred to state governments as devolution of share of taxes by the central government up to December 2020.
The Centre’s total expenditure stood at Rs 22.80 lakh crore or 75 per cent of corresponding BE 2020-21. Of this, Rs 19,71,173 crore was on revenue account and Rs 3,08,974 crore was on capital account. Of the total revenue expenditure, Rs 4,72,171 crore was towards interest payments and Rs 2,27,352 crore is on account of major subsidies.