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India's fiscal deficit touches 114.8% of BE in first 8 months of FY19

Triggering concerns about the state of public finances, India's fiscal deficit exceeded to Rs 7.17 lakh crore and touched 114.8% of the Budget Estimate (BE) of Rs 6.24 lakh crore at the end of November on account of lower revenue collections. At the end of November 2017, it was 112% of the BE. Besides, the government has budgeted to cut the fiscal deficit to 3.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018-19, from 3.53% in the previous financial year.

The Controller General of Accounts' (CGA) data showed that the total revenue receipts of the government totalled Rs 8.7 lakh crore or 50.4% of BE in 2018-19 till November, compared with 53.1% during the same period last year. The government has budgeted to mop up Rs 17.25 lakh crore revenue during the current fiscal.

According to the data, tax revenue was 49.4% of BE, compared with 57% in the comparable period of the previous year. Moreover, the total expenditure of the government at November-end was Rs 16.13 lakh crore or 66.1% of BE. The expenditure in terms of percentage of BE was higher in the year-ago period. Of the total expenditure in this period, Rs 14.22 lakh crore was on revenue account and Rs 1.91 lakh crore on capital account.

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