People walk through the North Block of Central Secretariat building which houses the Ministry of Finance (Photographer: . Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg) 

India’s Fiscal Deficit Narrows In December

India’s fiscal deficit narrowed in December from the previous month.

The gap between the government’s revenue and expenditure stood at Rs 7.01 lakh crore at the end of December, according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts. That’s 112.4 percent of the budgeted estimate of Rs 6.24 lakh crore for 2018-19. The gap in November stood at 114.8 percent and 113.6 percent in December 2017.

The government, in the interim budget, revised the fiscal deficit for 2018-19 at 3.4 percent of the GDP from 3.3 percent earlier, and maintained it at the same level for the next financial year.

Other highlights

  • Total expenditure for the April-December 2018 period rose to Rs 18.32 lakh crore, or 75 percent of the full-year target. This is lower than the 79 percent of the budget target completed in the April-December 2017 period.
  • Capital expenditure touched 70.6 percent of the 2018-19 target compared with 76.5 percent a year ago.
  • Revenue deficit stood at 128.7 percent of the target during April-December 2018 compared with 139.5 percent in the same period last year.
  • Revenue receipts stood at 62.8 percent of the target compared with 66.9 percent in April-December 2017 period.
  • Tax revenue was at Rs 9.36 lakh crore, or 63.2 percent of the full-year target, against 73.4 percent of the budget target a year ago.
  • Non-tax revenue touched 60.3 percent of the target compared with 39.3 percent last year.