The central government's fiscal deficit at the end of November worked out to be 46.2 per cent of the annual budget target for the financial year 2021-22 due to an improvement in the revenue collection, according to official data released on Friday.
The deficit figures in the current financial year till November appear much better than the previous financial year when it had soared to 135.1 per cent of the estimates mainly on account of a jump in expenditure to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In actual terms, the deficit stood at Rs 6,95,614 crore at the end of November 2021 against the annual estimate of Rs 15.06 lakh crore, according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
For the current financial year, the government expects the deficit at 6.8 per cent of GDP or Rs 15,06,812 crore. According to the data, the total receipts of the government at the end of November stood at Rs 13.78 lakh crore or 69.8 per cent of the budget estimates (BE). The collection was just 37 per cent of the BE of 2020-21 in the corresponding period last fiscal.
The tax (net) revenue so far stood at 73.5 per cent of the BE of 2021-22. It was only 42.1 per cent of BE 2020-21 in the corresponding period of last fiscal. The CGA data further said the central government's total expenditure at the end of November stood at Rs 20.74 lakh crore or 59.6 per cent of this year's BE.
The fiscal deficit for 2020-21 stood at 9.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), better than 9.5 per cent projected in the revised estimates in the Budget in February.