Government Meets Fiscal Deficit Target Of 3.4% For FY19
Fitch Solutions revised its forecast for the central government fiscal deficit to come in at 3.6 percent of GDP in FY 2019-20.

Government Meets Fiscal Deficit Target Of 3.4% For FY19

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The government has managed to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4 percent of the gross domestic product after it cut last-minute expenditure and rolled over fuel subsidies to make up for the shortfall in tax collection.

The interim budget presented in February revised upward the fiscal deficit target to 3.4 percent from 3.3 percent of GDP estimated earlier for 2018-19.

According to sources, the revised target has been met with the help of expenditure savings and other measures, including the rollover of the fuel subsidy. As a result, the shortfall in tax collection has been matched.

There has also been some increase in non-tax revenue collection, especially on account of disinvestment proceeds.

About Rs 25,000-30,000 crore worth of subsidies due to state-run oil companies for selling liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene below the cost during 2018-19 have been rolled over and will now be paid in the current financial year.

Last week, Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government is close to meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.4 percent for 2018-19.

The government is estimated to have witnessed a shortfall of Rs 50,000 crore in direct tax collection target of Rs 12 lakh crore for 2018-19, a senior Finance Ministry official said.

The government had revised the direct tax collection target upwards to Rs 12 lakh crore from the original Budget Estimate of Rs 11.5 lakh crore for 2018-19. It was expecting higher collections from corporate taxes.

The revision was made during the interim budget for 2019-20 in February.

As far as non-tax revenue collection is concerned, the government has exceeded its disinvestment target for 2018-19 by Rs 5,000 crore, taking the total proceeds to Rs 85,000 crore.

Besides, the non-tax revenue was boosted by the second interim dividend collection from various companies, including Coal India Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

Also read: India’s Fiscal Deficit Widens To 134.2% Of Target In February

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