The government's fiscal deficit touched 132.4 per cent of the full-year target at December-end mainly due to slower pace of revenue collections, official data showed on Friday. In actual terms, the fiscal deficit or gap between expenditure and revenue was Rs 9,31,725 crore, the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) showed.
The government aims to restrict the gap at 3.3 per cent of the GDP or Rs 7,03,760 crore in the year ending March 2020.
The deficit was 112.4 per cent of 2018-19 Budget Estimate (BE) in the corresponding period.
According to the CGA, the government's revenue receipts were Rs 11.46 lakh crore or 58.4 per cent of the 2019-20 BE. In the same period last fiscal, the collections were 62.8 per cent of the BE.
The data further revealed that total expenditure was 75.7 per cent of BE or Rs 21.09 lakh crore. During the corresponding period in 2018-19, the expenditure was 75 per cent of the BE.
Of the total spending, the capital expenditure was 75.6 per cent of the BE, higher than 70.6 per cent of the estimates during the same period in 2018-19.
The Economic Survey on Friday made a case for relaxing the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP in view of the need to arrest the declining growth, estimated to touch an 11-year low of 5 per cent in the current fiscal.
The Medium Term Fiscal Policy (MTFP) Statement presented with the Budget 2019-20, pegged the fiscal deficit target for 2019-20 at 3.3 per cent of GDP, which was further expected to follow a gradual path of reduction and attain the targeted level of 3 per cent of GDP in 2020-21, and continue at the same level in 2021-22.
In September 2019, the government decided to lower tax rate for corporates, taking an estimated hit of Rs 1.45 lakh crore on its revenue mobilisation.
Tax sops were intended to boost investment cycle in the face of slowing GDP growth, which dipped to a six-year low of 5 per cent in the first quarter ended June.
It is widely expected that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will announce slew of measures to revive the slowing economic growth. The GDP growth is estimated to slow to an 11-year low of 5 per cent during the current financial year ending March 2020.
The Economic Survey expects the growth to pick up during the next year. It has projected the GDP growth rate to be in the range of 6-6.5 per cent in 2020-21.