Jaitley targets 2017-18 fiscal deficit at 3.2% of GDP

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel February 1, 2017 14:13

Jaitley targets 2017-18 fiscal deficit at 3.2% of GDP


New Delhi, Feb 1  In a move to support higher government spending in the coming fiscal, Finance minister Arun Jaitley on wednesday pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.2 per cent of the country’s GDP in his Budget 2017-18 presented in Parliament.

The figure is higher than the earlier targeted figure of 3 per cent of the GDP for 2017-18. The fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal is at 3.5 per cent, while for 2018-19 it has been set at 3 per cent.

“I have pegged the fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at 3.2 per cent of GDP and remain committed to achieve 3 per cent in the following year,” Jaitley said, presenting his budget. 

“With this gradual approach, I have ensured adherence to fiscal consolidation, without compromising the requirements of public investment,” he said. 

“It will be our endeavour to improve upon these fiscal numbers, especially the fiscal deficit, in the next year, through greater focus on quality of expenditure and higher tax realisation from the huge cash deposits in banks, triggered by demonetisation,” he added. 

In Budget 2017-18, Jaitley has provided for a total government expenditure of Rs 21,41,000 crore in the forthcoming fiscal. 

The Finance Ministry’s Economic Survey tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, which has sharply cut the country’s GDP growth projection for this fiscal to 6.5 per cent, urged the Centre to act as a model for states on fiscal prudence by its own fiscal management. 

“The path of fiscal prudence embarked upon by this government is critical: in itself but also as a model for the states,” the Survey authored by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said. 

With the government under pressure from global rating agencies on this count, India’s fiscal deficit in the April-November period of the current fiscal touched Rs 7.96 lakh crore — or 85.8 per cent of Budget estimates for 2016-17 — as against 87 per cent of Budget in the same period of the previous year.

According to the Controller General of Accounts data, the deficit, or the gap between expenditure and revenue for the entire current fiscal, has been pegged at Rs 5.34 lakh crore, as compared to the deficit of Rs 5.35 lakh crore in the last fiscal as per revised estimates of 2015-16. 

The exchequer’s tax revenue during the period in question yielded Rs 6.21 lakh crore, or 58.9 per cent of the estimates, while total receipts from revenue and non-debt capital during the fiscal’s first eight months were Rs 7.96 lakh crore, or 57.8 per cent of the estimates for the current year. 

Total expenditure during the April-November period was Rs 12.9 lakh crore, or 65 per cent of the entire fiscal’s estimate. Of the total expenditure, money spent on plan was over Rs 3.64 lakh crore, while non-plan expenditure came to more than Rs 9.22 lakh crore. 

The revenue deficit during April-November was over Rs 3.48 lakh crore, or 98.4 per cent, of the estimates. 

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel February 1, 2017 14:13