New Delhi, Jun 30 (PTI) The fiscal deficit during the first two months of the current financial year widened to Rs 4.66 lakh crore or 58.6 per cent of the budget estimates mainly on account of poor tax collection due to the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.
The fiscal deficit during the corresponding period of last year was be 52 per cent of the budget estimates.
The government had pegged the fiscal deficit for 2020-21 at Rs 7.96 lakh crore or 3.5 per cent of the GDP in the budget which was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in February.
These figures, however, have to be revised significantly in view of the economic disruptions created by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit stood at Rs 4,66,343 crore at end-May, the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data showed.
The deficit was 35.1 per cent of BE at end-April.
Fiscal deficit had soared to a seven-year high of 4.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019-20, mainly on account of poor revenue realisation which dipped further towards the close of March because of lockdown to contain spread of coronavirus.
According to the CGA data, revenue receipts of the government stood at Rs 44,667 crore or 2.2 per cent of the Budget Estimates (BE). During the same period of the last fiscal, the realisation was 7.3 per cent of the BE.
The tax revenue stood at Rs 33,850 crore or 2.1 per cent of BE during the first two months of the fiscal.
Total receipts of the government were 2 per cent of the BE or 45,498 crore. In the Budget, the government had estimated the total receipts for the fiscal at Rs 22.45 lakh crore.
The government's total expenditure stood at Rs 5.11 lakh crore or 16.8 per cent of the BE at end-May. During the same period of the last fiscal, the total expenditure was 18.4 per cent of the BE.
Commenting on the data, Aditi Nayar, Vice President, ICRA said with a severe squeeze in revenue receipts amid a marginal contraction in total spending, the fiscal deficit widened to Rs 4.7 lakh crore in the first two months of what is sure to be a very difficult fiscal year.
"In our base case, ICRA expects the GoI's fiscal deficit for FY2021 to expand to Rs 13 lakh crore or 6.7 per cent of GDP, from the budgeted level of Rs 8 lakh crore or 3.5 per cent of GDP," she said.
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